A day in the life of a Brisbane Broncos intern

If you had told me, a year ago today, that I would be an intern with the Brisbane Broncos, helping to film training sessions using a drone, whilst working amongst the likes of Wayne Bennett and Corey Parker – I most definitely would have laughed and said you were crazy.

Opportunities like this are often rare and hard to come by, as I discovered in the third year of my degree in Exercise and Sport Science. I recall from day one of the program, being diligent about trying to find the right professional networks and connections to make, in a field full of passionate and proactive students. My initial attempt to contact the Broncos about practicum opportunities was unsuccessful and I moved on to complete my placement at Tennis Australia. Little did I know that later in the year UQ would help me to land the opportunity of a lifetime.

It has now been nine months since the Broncos internship flyer found its way into my student inbox. Along with a selection of other UQ students, I have been fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to work with some of the best coaches, sport scientists, players and professionals in rugby league. Under the guidance of the performance team at the Broncos, I have been able to form a continuing role for myself in the area of data analytics, which I have grown into as the team rolled through the season.

To give you an idea of my typical day, it always begins bright and early. The staff, squad and my peers arrive at training to carry out our morning wellness testing routines on the players. You will also find me setting up for our drone flight later in the day. Wellness testing is usually followed by a team meeting for the NRL squad. At the end of the meeting, the players will get ready to take to the field, but not before one of us (students) fit each of the players with a GPS tracking unit and a heart rate monitor. The players will then warm up and run through several training drills. These field sessions usually last between 60-90 minutes. There will often be a large number of spectators and media on training days, which always adds an element of excitement to the atmosphere. During the session, the drone is used as a coaching tool to film each drill to provide feedback for players. After training, the students play a more integral role in helping with different recovery protocols ie. ice baths etc. Once recovery has wrapped up, everyone breaks for lunch followed by a session in the gym. Here the students will use the latest monitoring technology to provide feedback to players and coaches. After gym, the NRL squad packs up for the day and in comes the NYC (under 20s) squad where we do it all over again.

If I was to sum up my practical experience at the Brisbane Broncos so far, it would be challenging and eye-opening. As we approach the end of the season I hope my experiences here continue my knowledge growth and enable me to become a valuable asset to the team.

In the final semester of my degree I will also be completing my Honours project with the Broncos, which has largely been a result of the new partnership between the Broncos and UQ. Similarly, for many other students, this partnership has brought with it some amazing opportunities in research, for Honours and PhD students, in various areas such as recovery, nutrition, sport science, coaching and talent development.

I cannot recommend this program enough for students who are interested in exercise and movement science. If you’re an ambitious student looking for a profession with exciting and challenging career outcomes, then this could very well be the right fit for you.

Last updated:
3 April 2017