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The nib Newcastle Knights team extends beyond the players.

The coaching and support staff play an equally important role and for the past four months, Dylan Fry has become part of the Knights family.

Dylan has been using his one on one support time to act as an assistant gear steward.

Dylan has learning difficulties but through his time with the Knights, his support worker Tammy Davis says he's made significant changes.

"When Dylan first started here, his self-esteem was really low," Tammy explained.

"He couldn't stay focussed on set tasks and had no confidence to communicate with people. After coming to the Knights, he's started to look people in the eyes.

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"He was given set tasks. It took him a while to get the hang of it.

"JT (John Thomas) and Jamie (Williams) had a lot of patience with him. Dylan has picked it up really slowly but improved wonderfully.

"They've colour coded the markers for him to put out at training."

Twice a week, Dylan helps the trainers prepare the field for the upcoming session and runs water to the players throughout practice.


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According to Dylan it has been; "the best experience of his life."

As part of his responsibilities, Dylan is tasked with the role of setting out the markers for training drills, refills the water bottles and runs the bottles out to the players as they require.

At the conclusion of training, Dylan packs away the markers, refills the bottles and places the equipment in the sheds.

During his time at the Knights, there's been a noted improvement in Dylan's social skills, retention of information, commitment and fitness.

"Dylan has improved greatly," Tammy said. 

"He feels like he belongs and fits in and everyone treats him, just nice. It's a naturally nice environment for Dylan to be in which has built up his confidence and self-esteem. He loves it."