If your pint-sized footy fanatic is climbing the walls, they’re not alone. Dolphins captain Cameron Cullen and teammate Jayden Nikorima are also desperately missing the game they love.
And so, in a bid to ease their own pain and to help kids stay active, healthy and in a good mindset they’re using social media to run three online clinics a week.
They’ve become Facebook Live sensations, with followers from across Queensland, New South Wales and even interest from Western Australia in the two weeks the clinics have been running.
There are sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5pm, and Saturdays at 9am. And in a bit of a twist, they set challenges every second Saturday for kids to complete, video and submit. These could be anything – even making a healthy snack.
Cameron says it’s an idea he had before the arrival of COVID-19, and something he’d hoped to offer through face-to-face training sessions under the Image Property Academy umbrella.
But with social distancing and movement restrictions now in place, he’s embraced social media and the chance to do it online.
He was planning to work with kids aged 12, 13 and 14 years, but the online sessions have allowed him to offer the program to children of all ages. Even their parents have been joining in.
“I thought this presents an even better opportunity to help more kids and an option to open it up to more age groups and just players on the Redcliffe Peninsula,” Cameron says.
“It’s massive. The driver for me is the mindset stuff. Kids will be going crazy being cooped up at home and it benefits the parents too,” Cameron says.
And the healthy, active habits families develop during the COVID-19 lockdown, will hopefully stay with them long after they’re allowed to leave the house.
At the core of it, Cameron and Jayden want to make a difference and they’ve already had great feedback from parents and kids, some even asking for advice.
“There’s a huge benefit for me personally because it makes me feel awesome,” Cameron says.
Creating the Image Property Academy online has helped Cameron and his sidekick Jayden Nikorima deal with the cancellation of this year’s Intrust Super Cup season.
Cameron, the Dolphins’ captain, was sidelined with a knee injury for the entire 2019 season and worked really hard to be fit for this season. Not being able to play left him with an empty feeling.
He says the silver lining was being able to play in round 1, before COVID-19 restrictions forced the season to be called off.
“I think it goes past rugby league for me. It helps me keep a really good mindset, knowing you’re helping others – families,” Cameron says of creating the academy.
“You help someone else and feel really good. It gives you a positive mindset at a time when it’s quite easy to slip into a negative one.”