A night all about junior development

Creating Athletes: A recap

Here’s what happens when seven likeminded, passionate individuals get together to talk about their fields of expertise: You get a highly informative evening all about Creating Athletes.

All facets of sport are ever-evolving; practices and guidelines change, technology improves and all parents look for is the right information from the right people. Which is why and how Creating Athletes came about.

So. Your child wants to be a sportsman. Here are the facts.

The line up

Zenon Caravella

First up was Caravella Football Academy founder, Head Coach and former professional footballer, Zenon Caravella.

An FFA honouree and twice Player of the Year in the A-League with over 300 professional games under his belt, Zenon chose to focus his talk on the challenges of his career rather than paint a picture that was all glitz and glamour.

While Zenon was fortunate enough to carve out a successful career in football spanning over 15 years, it took hard work, patience, resilience,
perseverance, passion and obstacles to do it. Aspiring athletes need to hear and prepare for the challenges that inevitably lay ahead.

Tom Maher

Growing pains, Severs, Osgood Schlatters… Most active and growing kids will experience some kind of pain when it comes to growing. Highly regarded physiotherapist Tom Maher covered this as well as screening young athletes as well as monitoring training and playing loads in his informative talk.

Tom can be found at Cairns Total Physio – at locations all across FNQ!

Luciano Trani

When you have an A-League winning coach and Socceroos Analyst in the room, you know they’re bound to capture the audience with important lessons. Luciano focused his talk on staying humble, hard work, what he looks for in young footballers and his passion for the world game. Luciano followed his engaging talk with a free workshop for all attending players the next day – an amazing experience for these aspiring athletes.

Luciano can be found doing analysis for the Socceroos in Victoria.

Mitch Smith

Nutritionist Mitch Smith drove home what Zenon always tells his players and that is, if you’re going to come to training after having a meat pie and can of coke, you aren’t going to train as well as you can.

Mitch gave our audience some fantastic ideas as to what a good meal plan looks like, some handy ideas as to what to have before training, how different types of food increases performance and shares his thoughts on sports drinks!

Mitch can be found at Health Management Dietitians

Tammie Thornton

Ex Matilda Tammie shared with us her own personal journey to professional football as a young lady that started playing the game relatively late – at 14 years old. A swift rise to the top of the ranks meant Tammie represented her country in no time and her football journey was nothing short of inspiring.

Tammie can be found teaching at Mareeba and Smithfield High.

Crios O’Hare

Strength and Conditioning expert Crios O’Hare debunks the various
myths about strength and conditioning in children and focused on how it can improve an athlete’s individual performances, athletic skills all while building good foundations and habits for the future.

Crios can be found at Next Level High Performance Training

Rob Gronbeck

Our last speaker of the night was the ever-engaging Rob Gronbeck who spoke about cognitive training and how all experiences and changes happen in the brain. He talked about what feeds the brain, how it works best, why sleep is so important and the benefits of the Neurotracker; a perceptual cognitive training tool.

Rob can be found at Cairns Sports Performance Clinic


A highlights video will be put together on what was an incredible evening as we already work on future seminars to further educate parents and aspiring athletes.

Thanks to all that attended – it not only raised money for the CFA players travelling to Japan but it hopefully sent you away more informed about your child’s development.


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