Ignatius Park's Rugby League Development Programme began in 2001 and has already provided a proven pathway to success in the national arena for a number of our students. Emphasis is on developing well-educated and responsible young men who enjoy their sport. All training sessions occur outside school hours, allowing students to focus on their academic studies, which are always a priority. Boys from all over Queensland and beyond participate in our development programmes, while other students choose to simply play Rugby League for fun and fitness.
We have teams in all age-groups, from Under 12 through to Open. Boys who are selected for the Open First XIII Development Programme undertake 5 sessions per week (3 early morning sessions and two after school) that focus on the physical development (weight sessions and conditioning) as well as their skills and tactical development. These sessions are run throughout the year except for exam periods where we have time off for the students to focus on their academic workload.
Our Open First XIII compete in the North Queensland Cowboys Aaron Payne Cup, attend the state wide Confraternity Carnival (champions 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2016) as well as the GIO National Schoolboys Cup annually. The U15 team also competes in the North Queensland Cowboys Challenge (champions 2014 & 2016). Our boys also undertake development tours to other major centres such as Sydney. This is imperative to players' development as they not only play with quality players but play against quality competition, thus fast-tracking their development.
Ignatius Park is recognised as an important development base for players wishing to continue their sporting careers beyond school. Over the last five years alone we have had a number of our players making Australian and Queensland sides at the open and under 15 level, as well as over 30 players going straight into NRL systems as part of the National Youth Competition (U20s). We have had four past students win an NRL premiership recently in Valentine Holmes (Sharks), Micheal Morgan, Kyle Feldt (Cowboys) and Aidan Guerra (Roosters), while Valentine, Aidan and Michael have all gone on to represent Australia. Chris Grevsmuhl (Panthers) and Patrick Kaufusi (Cowboys) continue to go from strength to strength, while Coen Hess and Kalyn Ponga both made their NRL debuts recently for the Cowboys. Anthony Mitchell (Eels, Roosters and Cowboys) is also proud to be a product of the Iggy Park Development Program as is old boy Scott Prince.
As you can see Ignatius Park College stands by our record in developing boys to achieve their potential as Rugby League players, but above all, to develop as responsible young men.