The Newcastle leg of the Danny Buderus Super Clinics topped off an incredible week for the ex-Knight with an enormous number of budding league stars lining up to learn from one of the game's best.
This year marks the third year Danny has run the rugby league clinics and the first he has taken the concept on the road, drawing an exceptional response with more than 600 kids attending clinics in Taree, Aberdeen and Newcastle.
On Friday, more than 350 keen players converged on Newcastle’s Number 2 Sports Ground to be mentored by Danny at the final clinic of the week.
The clinics were split into junior and international age groups and designed to develop and polish the skills of both current junior league players and children who don’t play the game, but are itching for a taste of rugby league.
Danny was blown away by the number of registrations and by the calibre of talent and enthusiasm shown throughout the league’s grassroots areas.
“It’s been a lot of fun and we’ve identified a lot of kids, especially in international level, who will probably go on to some academy-style set up that we have going at the Knights,” he said.
“We just want a pathway for these young guys to really have hope of wearing the colours of the Newcastle Knights.”
“It’s been a really good day and the kids have all enjoyed it.”
Danny’s focus has also gone beyond imparting his skills to young players.
“At night we’ve been holding coaching seminars which have also been a big positive as well,” he explained.
“A lot of the places have enjoyed that.”
The clinics have contributed to a number of worthy causes with proceeds from the Aberdeen event going to the Rise For Alex Fund, the Taree leg to the Curtis Landers Foundation and the Newcastle clinic to the Mark Hughes Foundation.
Participants and their family also did their bit by purchasing hundreds of RiseForAlex wristbands in the lead up to the Rise For Alex Round this weekend.
Matt Lantry, the Newcastle Knights' manager for participation, development and infrastructure played an important role in pulling the three clinics together and was impressed with the response and support shown by the community.
“Part of that has been because we have taken it on the road,” he said.
“Not only have we done clinics for the kids between 6 and 12 years old, but also rolling into the international age groups of between 13 and 17 years.
“Danny’s been good enough to hang around in each area to do a coaching seminar for community coaches, just to give them some tips and tricks of the trade to pass onto their kids.
“It helps us as development staff when we’re trying to educate those junior players to ensure those coaches are playing a vital part in what we’re trying to do- and that’s to educate 6000 participants across our region,” he added.
The success of the clinics shone through in the kids who grew and developed their playing skills.
“This afternoon has been good fun, it’s more about skill based games,” Danny said at Newcastle’s clinic.
“It’s a bit more about the finer parts of coaching and putting a bit of polish on their skills.”
“There’s a lot of smiling faces by the end of it,” he said.