Front-row junior ready to make impact in elite squad
RUGBY LEAGUE: For the second successive year Gladstone Raiderettes and former Calliope Rooster Delaney Claridge has been recognised.
The junior front-rower is the only Gladstone-based girl selected in the Queensland Academy of Sport under-15 squad for the 2019 season.
The program will include skill development, strength and conditioning and testing, tackle technique, leadership profiling and team building across a four-day period from January 18-21.
It will take place at the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre and Griffith University in Brisbane.
Fourteen-year-old Delaney has shown great development in the past 12 months. "I tried to play longer minutes each game and keep my level of intensity," she said.
Chanel College student Delaney played for the U14 Raiderettes this season and she did it the hard way. "It was about an eight-week competition in Rockhampton which was a nine-a-side," she said. "It was hard when it's only nine-a-side because I prefer playing with a full team."
Queensland Rugby League managing director Robert Moore said the camps are designed to open up plenty of opportunities for the state's talented youngsters.
"With support from the QAS, our female program is getting stronger each year," he said on the QRL website. "Players will go back to their clubs and regions as better players and for many, the experience will take them a step closer to wearing a Queensland State of Origin jersey."
Delaney's father Stuart said his daughter is an example of what can be done if someone perseveres with their chosen sport. "It's great to have more girls playing rugby league and especially down at the Calliope Roosters," he said.
Delaney is one of eight from the CQ region to get selected and said there will not be any relaxing between now and January 18.
"I will be trying to build on my fitness and keep my general skills up," she said.