Connected coaching: State of Origin legends train budding sport stars

Watch country kids meet their sporting heroes in a unique virtual coaching clinic.

Coursing through the bloodline of Aussies is the undying love for sport. From the different footy codes, to the many formats of cricket, sport is embedded deep into the roots of our national psyche.

One of the country's most intense sporting battles - the State of Origin - is currently underway, as fierce rugby rivals NSW and QLD go head-to-head in a series of three games. 

Meanwhile, straddling the border of regional Queensland and New South Wales, Wallangarra State School is transported to Sydney’s ANZ Stadium via a high-definition video link to participate in the nbn™ Connected Coaching Clinic.

Directed by State of Origin legends Wally Lewis and Brad Fittler (who were commissioned by nbn), the remote coaching session gave the schoolkids a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet - and be trained by - the giants in the game.

The unique virtual coaching session saw the students put through their paces in a series of warm-ups, drills, and play-offs on the field.

It also showcased how technology is revolutionising the way Australians train and participate in sport. Location is no longer a barrier to receiving expert advice, coaching, and training with high-speed broadband bridging the geographical divide.

Wally Lewis and Brad Fittler warming up for the nbn™ Connected Coaching Clinic at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

Wally and Brad coach students from Wallangarra State School remotely at the nbn™ Connected Coaching Clinic.

Wallangarra State School students participate in a series of warm-up games as part of the coaching session.

Watch: State of Origin legends Brad Fittler and Wally Lewis coach regional school kids remotely via the nbn™ Connected Coaching Clinic

Whether it's a budding sportstar in a regional town, or a die-hard fan in the city, access to fast internet is opening up exciting opportunities to learn, participate in, and watch sport.

Young sporting hopefuls now have the ability to learn from online video tutorials to hone their skills, use training apps, and even learn tips and tricks from the professionals.

Amateur athletes are able to upload videos of themselves for talent scouts, and schoolkids in regional and remote parts of the country - such as those in Wallangarra - are able to participate in virtual coaching sessions.

Coach talk: The changing face of sport

Wally Lewis, sport commentator and former Queensland State of Origin captain says, "The last time I played in a State of Origin final was in 1991 – years before the invention of smartphones and tablets. The nbn™ Coaching Clinic is a great example of how access to fast internet is enabling Aussies, no matter where they live, to harness the latest technology to get closer to the sports they love."

Brad Fittler, sport presenter and former NSW State of Origin captain says,“Australia is a nation of sports lovers and State of Origin is all about getting behind your state to cheer on your favourite team. The nbn™ Coaching Clinic was a great way of getting country kids closer to the action and having some fun ahead of the game. Access to fast internet is helping Aussies all over the country access to training tools, and encouraging them to be more active participants in sport."

Technology is changing the way we watch sport, too. Over half the country (65 per cent) now consume some type of sport online.*

As more households gain access to fast broadband via the nbn™ network, perfecting training techniques, learning from professional athletes, or a good, old-fashioned coaching session can all be accessed from a connected device with the click of a button or the tap of a screen.

Learning from the best, the students of Wallangarra are one step closer to pursuing the sporting dreams that Wally and Brad once had themselves... and went on to achieve.

Snapshots from nbn™ Connected Coaching Clinic

** Your experience including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ network depends on the technology over which services are delivered to your premises and some factors outside our control like your equipment quality, signal quality, software, broadband plans and how your service provider designs its network.

Reference: Australian specific stats from: Know the Fan, Global Sports Consumption Report 2014, Perform, Kantar Media and SportBusiness Group