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Working hard off-field

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While the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys spend hours every day training for their on-field careers, 15 squad members are also working hard in the classroom to future-proof their careers off-field.

In conjunction with major partner Allara Learning, players are undertaking a double Diploma in Hospitality Management and Business Management, giving them the skills they’ll need to join or re-join the workforce after football.

These players include: John Asiata, Justin O’Neill, Coen Hess, Michael Morgan, Jake Granville, Ben Hampton, Braden Uele, Patrick Kaufusi, Patrick Mago, Jason Taumalolo, Lachlan Coote, Shane Wright, Josh Chudleigh, Ethan Lowe and Antonio Winterstein.

Core to the NRL’s Wellbeing program, opportunities for personal development and career planning are at the forefront of Cowboys Wellbeing and Education Manager Kevin Marty’s considerations in being able to develop successful pathways for players away from the rugby league stage.

“While our players are 100% focused on what they need to do to be ready for each and every game, they also understand the value of furthering their career prospects for their lives post-footy,” Mr Marty said.

“We understand that, for a number of reasons, players’ careers are often short, so we are very supportive of players looking to acquire valuable skills and qualifications by pursuing certificates, degrees and other higher honours in their chosen future career paths.

“The players are very committed to completing their studies, and we are lucky in being able to work with one of our major partners who truly understand the complexities of the players' schedules, and are flexible in their course delivery.”

Cowboys player and Allara Learning ambassador Coen Hess is currently completing the course, and appreciates the chance to learn another industry discipline while playing top flight rugby league.

“Being able to study and play competitive sport is a really rare opportunity, and one I am definitely making the most of,” Hess said.

The national education and training provider delivers the Cowboys Dream, Believe, Achieve hospitality course – a training and employment program delivering nationally accredited training to unemployed and disadvantaged North Queenslanders.

Allara Learning CEO Andrew Lewis said the organisation has always been impressed by the Cowboys’ commitment to improving well-being in the region through successful engagement in education.

“The club’s support of the players and indeed the players’ own dedication to undertake a double-diploma in hospitality management and business management is a terrific example of the Cowboys’ commitment to improving lives through education,” Mr Lewis said.

“We’re very proud to be able to offer our services to such a dynamic and dedicated group of young men and hope that it will benefit them in their careers after rugby league.”

For more information about Allara Learning, visit allaralearning.com.au.