Bond University's Nathan Corbett is realising a childhood dream of working in sports media, while fellow student and former Canadian rugby player Jackson Silvester-Lee is putting his elite sporting skills into practice, as interns with Rugby Australia at the 2018 Oceania Rugby Under 20s Championship this week.
The pair are among six undergraduate and postgraduate Bond students whose internships at the Oceania Championship span event and media management, strength and conditioning, physiotherapy and rehabilitation.
More than 200 players and officials from New Zealand, Tonga, Fiji and the Australian Junior Wallabies arrived on the Gold Coast last week for the event, which is the pathway to the World Rugby Under 20s Championship, to be held in France in June.
Nathan, who is studying a Bachelor of Sports Management, said as a media management intern he would assist with promotions, marketing, online reporting and event management.
The former rugby player is no stranger to the industry, having previously commentated Bond Rugby’s first grade games.
"I believe my experience in media with Bond Rugby - writing for the newsletter, running match reports and conducting player interviews - played a large role in securing the internship with Rugby Australia, which I hope will bring me one step closer to one day landing my dream job of sports commentating," he said.
"Rugby has always been my passion. I know all the players and exactly what is happening on the field, which combined with my knowledge of sports management obtained through my degree, should come second nature to me."
20-year-old Nathan said since making the move from Sydney to the Gold Coast last year, he had been fortunate to learn from one of Queensland’s most experienced sports commentators.
"I've had the opportunity to be mentored by Peter Meares - who has covered and commentated numerous major sporting events, including the Olympics and Commonwealth Games, along with presenting sport for Channel 7 for more than a decade," he said.
"I used to fill in for Peter at the Bond University Rugby Club and, now he is on the Sunshine Coast, he has passed the role over to me – presenting me with a great opportunity to take the next step in my career.
"I can't wait to learn even more about the media industry through this internship - it really is a dream come true."
Jackson, a former U17s Canadian Rugby player, was scouted by a League Coach to play in Australia, when he commenced his studies at Bond University in January 2017. He is studying a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science and said he found a love for strength and conditioning after working with Bond University’s Elite Tennis Team.
"I originally came to Bond University to play rugby with the intention to study physiotherapy, however after training some of my friends in the Elite Tennis Team, I realised I had a passion and skill in the strength and conditioning field," he said.
"I decided to steer away from rehabilitation and focus on training athletes to improve their performance to an elite level and basically be the fittest and strongest they can possibly be on game day.
"I have represented Canada in rugby and know what it takes mentally and physically to be elite, however through this degree and internship I am now learning to understand the body’s physiological limits and how different elements of the body work."
During his internship, Jackson will collate GPS data, supervise training sessions, assist with recovery protocols and gain strapping experience as the strength and conditioning assistant.
The 19-year-old said he was excited to be given the opportunity to learn as much as possible, develop his strength and conditioning skills and build a solid foundation for a future career.
"I feel like the combination of rugby and health sciences runs in my blood as my mum was a long-time rugby medic, so it's exciting to be following in her footsteps," he said.
"I'm really looking forward to jumping straight into the deep end, starting on the first game with competition workouts and rehabilitation routines.
"This experience will open many doors for me and give me a glimpse of what it's like to work at an elite level, so I know exactly what I need to do to get there."
The three-round 2018 Oceania Rugby Under 20s Championship is being hosted by Bond University at its Rugby Fields. Entry is $5 and free for children under 12, and free for Bond University students and staff on presentation of their ID cards.
The 2018 Oceania Rugby Under 20s Championship fixture
Round 1: Friday, 27 April
New Zealand v Tonga, 5pm AEST
Australia v Fiji, 7pm AEST
Round 2: Tuesday, 1 May (Free Entry for all)
New Zealand v Fiji, 3pm AEST
Australia v Tonga, 5pm AEST
Round 3: Saturday, 5 May
Tonga v Fiji, 5pm AEST
Australia v New Zealand, 7pm AEST