Turner hoping to inspire generation next

first_imgSpeaking via video link to school children from Aboriginal communities in Walgett, Gilgandra and several other towns, Turner promoted the idea of healthy living – namely dental hygiene – through the short story ‘Gaarrala Kylegu’ or ‘Brush with Kyle’. The initiative – part of the Rugby League Reads program – involved a reading in the Gamilaraay language as well as a Q&A between Turner and the children that addressed issues such as healthy living, goal-setting and, of course, what it’s like to play with Johnathan Thurston and Greg Inglis. Speaking to NRL.com after the event, the proud Coonabarabran junior explained what it meant to interact with the Indigenous kids. “Heritage and culture are very special to me, especially coming from the country and being a proud Gamilaraay boy. To be a part of this and to be given the opportunity to influence the younger generation on how to be healthy is special to me,” Turner said. “I remember when I was younger – I think I would have been about 12 or 13 years old – I had David Peachey and Preston Campbell come to our school. “Other than being starstruck by having NRL players there, they really talked to us about being proud Indigenous people and what it means to represent the people. “Ever since that moment, I wanted to be a part of that. Being a part of this book, I feel like I am a part of that now and it means a lot to me.”Turner’s message to kids extended beyond the over-arching concept of personal hygiene, with the 24-year-old encouraging the students to pick up a footy and play rugby league. With rule changes set to revolutionise the way junior rugby league is played, there has never been a better time for kids to start playing the game. And as Turner revealed, it’s never too late to kick-start one’s career. Sometimes all it takes is a few words of wisdom from an NRL star or two. “My footy career all started from that moment. I wasn’t playing rugby league before those guys came to our school but their visit got me into it. If I’ve inspired some of these kids to play, then that’s what my job is to do,” he said. “I played with the Coonabarabran Unicorns. We didn’t have the most intimidating team name. At first I just wanted to play to be with my mates and then obviously it got more serious as I got older.”Our coach took it very seriously but we just loved being around each other. Obviously it got more competitive the older you got, but when we were still kids it was all about having fun.”I started off as a hooker and then transitioned to centre and eventually finished up in the back row. “The least amount of travel you had to do was about an hour-and-a-half away or roughly 100kms. We’d travel as far as Nyngan which was about three hours away. It was a lot of travel but I don’t regret it for a moment.”We all travelled to our games on the bus and it was all fun and games. Everyone just enjoyed their time together on those trips and that’s what footy’s all about.”last_img read more

Three from Drake Soccer Earn CoSIDA Academic All-American Honors

first_imgAUSTIN, Texas – Senior Ali Smith (Lenexa, Kan.) of the Drake University women’s soccer team was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Division I First Team while junior Ryan Merideth (East Moline, Ill.) and Aleksi Tuominen (Helsinki, Finland) of the Drake men’s soccer team were named to the Division I Academic All-America Third and Second Teams, respectively, the organization announced Thursday, Dec. 7 morning. The prestigious academic awards are selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Tuominen, a defender, owns a perfect 4.00 GPA in health sciences. He transferred to Drake from Clayton State prior to the 2016 season. Tuominen played in 36 career matches with 32 starts in his two seasons as a Bulldog. Merideth and Tuominen are the eighth and ninth Drake men’s soccer players to earn All-American honors. Thirty of the 33 members of the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-America® Division I women’s soccer teams have at least a 3.90 GPA, with 19 student-athletes sporting a perfect 4.0 GPA. The 11 members of the first team have an average GPA of 3.96. Merideth, who holds a 3.86 cumulative grade point average in biochemistry & molecular biology, played in 19 matches, scored two goals and tallied two assists. The forward has played in 55 career matches for the Bulldogs. He was a 2017 MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team selection.center_img Smith, who owns a perfect 4.00 cumulative grade point average in finance and international business, started 19 matches at the defender position. She was named the 2017 Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year and to the All-MVC First Team. Smith scored two goals, handed out a team-high four assists and helped the defense record seven shutouts. She netted a golden goal to beat Illinois State, which clinched the MVC regular season title. Smith is a two-time MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team selection. She is the first Drake women’s soccer player to earn CoSIDA All-American honors since Kristin Underwood in 2005 and just the third player in program history to be named an academic all-American. Twenty-six of the 34 members of the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-America® Division I men’s soccer teams have at least a 3.90 GPA, with 15 student-athletes sporting a perfect 4.0 GPA. The 11 members of the first team have an average GPA of 3.91.  Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more