RUGBY Union has taken Brent Dale to Italy, New Zealand and across Australia
A former lock, he has played against the might of the British Lions, won premierships in Newcastle and Sydney and coached various teams.
Now, with the backing of his business acumen, Dale has turned his attention to Hunter Rugby and putting systems and structures in place to ensure the game thrives.
Dale was this week appointed a NSW Rugby Union Development officer for the Hunter region. The position is a joint venture between NSW Rugby Union, Hunter juniors and seniors and the Wildfires for the next three years.
"I will be working in the schools, with junior and senior clubs and various representative programs," Dale said. "We want to create a pathway for kids to play through to the Shute Shield."
Dale also intends to put structures in place to provide long-term sustainability.
"At the moment the sport relies on people," he said. "It is about setting up structures to help clubs be successful, increase numbers and also provide resources for them.
"We will make training plans available for coaches, put videos together for people to watch. There will be coach's coaching courses ... there is a big plan to put together."
Hunter juniors president Kobus Hattingh lobbied hard for the position to be created.
"It is the first time in many years that the zone has had its own dedicated development officer," he said. "It is fantastic that all Hunter three bodies - juniors, seniors and Wildfires - are working together."
As well as Dale, David Sharpe has been appointed part-time to work in the under-18s to 20s age bracket.
"We really want to drive that age bracket," Hattingh said. " We lose too many kids from the game altogether or to Sydney. Dave will work in that sphere to bring the kids through. It is an exciting time for the sport."
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