The 8th Immortal says Oztag is the ideal sport for young boys & girls
One of Australia’s greatest athletes believes Oztag is the ideal sport for young boys and girls looking to develop skills both on and off the field.
Rugby league immortal Andrew Johns attended his first NSW Junior State Cup at Bankstown over the weekend and was blown away by the spectacle.
“I just can’t believe how many kids are playing here this weekend, it’s fantastic,” Johns told Oztag Australia.
“Oztag is a fantastic sport for kids at a young age because they don’t need to worry about getting tackled and size doesn’t play as big a role.
“They develop their ball skills, their footwork, their vision, it’s the perfect gateway to rugby league and other sports.”
Arguably the greatest and most skilful rugby league player of all time, Johns said he thinks he would have benefited from playing Oztag during his younger years in Cessnock.
“I was just watching some really young kids and they can all catch and pass, so that’s a really great start,” he said.
“The young girls are really impressive. I did a little bit of coaching with a few of the girls sides and from an early age, their skills are fantastic.
“I don’t know if it’s got to do with the netball background, but their catch and pass is really good and they’ve got very soft hands, probably more so than boys at the same age.
“You can see how much women’s rugby league has improved over the last few years and I think that’s only going to continue based on what you can see here today.”
Despite his competitive nature, Johns said results weren’t the most important part of tournaments like this.
“Having fun is the most important thing, that’s what I keep telling my son. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s about enjoying yourself and if you want to be a bit more serious about it, you can do that when you get a little older.
“I think it’s important for the parents to remember that as well.”
So can we expect to see the eighth immortal in a pair of Oztag shorts some time soon?
“Nope, I can’t run mate, I’m shot,” he said.
“My days of playing any sort of competitive sport are long gone.”