The Newcastle Knights celebrated its partnership with Hunter TAFE on Tuesday with the NRL squad training at the campus’ first-rate facility.
The partnership has seen the organisations develop an ongoing program to assist players to access training while managing professional football commitments.
Hunter TAFE has worked closely with the Knights to develop the High Performance Sports Hub at the Newcastle Campus that includes a range of facilities that enable the players to both study and train.
Coach Rick Stone is the first to acknowledge just how valuable the relationship with Hunter TAFE is to the Club and said the players were happy to test out the new training field.
“First grade came over here today to have a training session and possibly introduce the Knights a little bit more to the TAFE and make everyone aware of the relationship," Stone said.
“We've had the Knights training here today, I guess to show off the facilities that we have here for the NYC group that trains here during the week.
“They have their theatre, gym, massage and training field with ice baths so it's pretty much a one-shop spot.
"The synergy of the relationship is terrific.”
Almost two thirds of the NYC Knights squad are currently studying at TAFE while pursuing a career in football with the Knights.
Combined with the state-of-the-art study hub, the facilities allows students an environment to develop their football skills while building a life beyond football.
“It provides a genuine opportunity for even our senior players to study courses depending on what their time constraints are,” Stone added.
Steven Mitchell, Director of External Relations and Strategies at Hunter TAFE was thrilled to host the NRL Knights’ training session at TAFE.
"It's a really exciting partnership that developed in 2013 into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that we've had with the Knights and since then, we've developed programs that we've been able to share across the whole NRL,” Mitchell said.
“I just love the activity here, we have these great facilities and it's fantastic to see them getting used.
“Having the Knights here creates a great atmosphere for our students and our staff.”
From a players’ perspective, Robbie Rochow said partnership with Hunter TAFE offers players the perfect environment to balance life on and off the field.
“It's good to see the home that our NYC boys have now here is great,” Rochow said.
“It's good for them to finish TAFE and start training here and to have another facility outside our usual one.
“It's great for the younger players at this club and a real benefit for us.”