The Southern Zone Development Camp which is a key component of the Southern Zone Development plan and pathways, was held for 2018 at St Thomas College in Christchurch. This camp saw 75 talented 14, 16 and 18-year-old players from throughout the South Island receiving expert tuition, information and advice across a range of topics that will help them to achieve their potential.

The programme was delivered by key personnel from the Zone supported by the NZRL with David McMeeken, the National Talent Manager and Nigel Vagana, the NZRL WellBeing Manager in attendance. The programme covered the areas of skill development, tactical appreciation, performance analysis, positional roles, nutrition, goal setting and smart training principles. Players were also fitness tested to assess their current level of fitness.

The camp culminated in a game where the players were able to put into practice some of what they had learnt. At the end of the camp they were issued with a comprehensive training diary which contained all the information presented to them.

Whilst the aim was to provide development for the players attending, a secondary and just as important outcome will be those in attendance taking what they have learned back to their club teams to share with their teammates and coaches.

The next focus of the Southern Zone Development programme will be the South Island 15s and 17s Tournament to be held in July in Greymouth. South Island 15s and 17s Scorpions squads will be picked from this tournament to prepare for the National Youth Tournament in October in Rotorua.

Southern Zone is grateful for the many coaches, trainers, a managers and presenters for giving their time to make this camp possible. There is no doubt that the boys who attended will have all learnt a lot.