Sounds like the Under 16s had an unforgettable end of season trip up in Taree and Forster. Check out the trip diary for details of what they got up to.
Tales from the road
To commence the annual U16s end of season trip, the boys travelled to Taree for a game against the Clontarf Academy at Chatham High School. The Clontarf boys were there to greet us and were keen to play as much as we were.
After a friendly welcome the two teams introduced themselves and jumped in together for a combined warm up, and we were almost ready to go. A quick reinforcement of the rules and the importance of the spirit in which the game was played. Any swearing would earn a mandatory 20 push-ups. The ball went on the tee and the whistle got us under way.
An early couple of tries by Clontarf showed that there were certainly some talented players on show. Both teams were happy to move the ball around which proved for some flowing play and quite enjoyable footy to watch. De La got themselves on the score sheet a few times to even up the contest, but it was becoming evident that one of the Clontarf boys was going to prove a handful.
16 year old Tashiem Abbott didn’t need his yellow headgear to stand out, his speed, agility and catching skills were letting everyone know that he was ‘in the house’. With the support of some other obviously talented players Tashiem finished with 4 tries and led the Clontarf team to a victory.
It was after the game we learned that we may have got off easy, Tashiem’s twin brother wasn’t able to play the game and we were told that together they are something else. Add to that, the boys have only been playing rugby league for 3 years after an incredible journey by walking from Alice Springs to Taree with 10 camels in search of opportunity and a better life.
It is truly amazing that sport has the power to change lives and these two happy smiling boys are a testament to that. We were so grateful to have been part of a great rugby league experience and it was highlighted when we gave away our De La jerseys to all the Clontarf boys and the Contarf team presented a signed jersey to the De La club.
Following the game the touring party headed back down to Forster to enjoy a weekend of activities including boating, tenpin bowling, golf and paintball. A footy trip away that will be remembered by all involved for a very long time.
Special thanks to the Clontarf Academy for their hospitality and Scott Franks for being an outstanding team leader on the trip and throughout the year helping the boys with their fundraising.