Wallabies camp a priceless experience for ACU student

The poise with which Curtis Reck handled marathon days and a lockdown curve ball while in camp with the Wallabies has affirmed his determination to forge a career in sport science.

A six-week internship with the Australian men’s rugby union team was a money-can't-buy experience for Curtis who is nearing completion of a Bachelor of High Performance Sport degree at Australian Catholic University’s Brisbane campus.

There is no other way to describe the vibe of contributing to the preparation of captain Michael Hooper, star winger Marika Koroibete and other Wallabies during the squad’s Gold Coast training camp for the Test series against France.

Seeing the training intensity and hearing how the players cherished wearing Australian gold reinforced the lofty status of what it meant to be part of the national team.

“It was an unreal experience,” Curtis said. “It was eye-opening for me to see how much they love representing their country.

“They each had a chance to speak in front of the team about how privileged they were to be part of it so I feel really fortunate to see what that meant to them.”

Curtis could not believe his own good fortune when he applied for and was later appointed to the short-term internship on Wallabies coach Dave Rennie’s sport science staff ahead of the French series in June.

There was little time to star gaze once he slipped on his army green squad uniform. After a few quick handshakes with the players and his colleagues, Curtis had to quickly adapt to the Wallabies’ routines.

Long work days at the Sanctuary Cove base started shortly after breakfast when he was responsible for operating the live GPS units which stream in real time a flood of physiological data back to the senior performance staff for analysis.

Afternoon gym sessions meant the Hervey Bay product had to be in the weights room up to 90 minutes ahead of the scheduled start time to ensure force plates, velocity measures and other gadgets were ready for the players’ use.

Added to the daily demands was the complexity of adhering to strict COVID-safe rules now entrenched in professional sport, and dealing with a three-day lockdown slapped on Queenslanders during the camp.

Yet there was not a moment the student felt out of his depth assisting in a sport science capacity.

The skills he acquired at ACU’s School of Behavioural and Health Sciences enabled Curtis to apply what he’d learned under pressure in a high-performance environment.

“The whole thing was really exciting,” he said.

“Seeing all the ins and outs was really cool, and it was special to see just how hard everyone worked and how professional they were.

“That’s the end goal for me.”


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