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From the field to the workshop: Gold Coast SUNS players learn trades skills at TAFE Queensland

Gold Coast SUNS players hone their trade skills with TAFE Queensland.

When we think of elite football players, we often think of their incredible physical ability and tactical ability on the field. But did you know that some players are also honing their skills in the trades industry?

TAFE Queensland’s Ashmore Trade Training Centre is offering non-accredited courses to Gold Coast SUNS football players, giving them a taste of bricklaying, painting, and plastering. These skills may come in handy for players looking to renovate their homes or just learn a new trade. There are currently 15 Gold Coast SUNS players honing their trade skills with TAFE Queensland.

Currently halfway through their training, the players are gaining hands-on experience working on a project to build two cubby houses. The plan is to offer the cubby houses to a local charity organisation once they're finished.

Not only does this program allow the players to gain practical skills, it also provides an opportunity for them to bond and work together outside of football. The Gold Coast SUNS are currently in their second year of participating in the non-accredited program offered by TAFE Queensland. Six players who took part in the program last year have decided to repeat it, citing their enjoyment and significant benefits gained from the experience.

According to TAFE Queensland Carpentry Teacher Breckan Clough, the players will assemble two cubby houses over the course of six three-hour sessions.

“As the players work in pairs, they are learning teamwork skills and the importance of patience with each other, particularly when mistakes are made,” Breckan said.

“They are learning skills that can be transferred into any type of job and footy doesn’t last forever.”

“The players are an awesome bunch, they’re smart, have a great work ethic and are taking on the skills really quickly,” he said.

Gold Coast SUNS Medium Forward James Tsitas joined the program for the first time this year and is looking forward to putting his new skills into practice. 

“I participated in the program so I could learn skills to feel capable doing things around the house and hope to do some renovations around the house sometime soon,” James said.

“I’ve learnt how to use power tools, how to cut things to length and basic safety around the worksite.”

“The program has been really fun; the educators are really good and we’re learning a lot,” he said.

TAFE Queensland Carpentry Teacher Ray Collom said the players have been learning along the way what they can do and have realised there are a lot of things they haven’t tried that they could be good at too.

 “When they use these big machines and learn how to use them proficiently and safely they feel a real sense of accomplishment once they have completed the training on the tools,” Ray said.

TAFE Queensland is proud to offer the non-accredited courses to the Gold Coast SUNS and hopes to continue to provide opportunities for the team in the future. Maybe we'll see some Gold Coast SUNS players building homes or even starting their own renovation businesses one day.

If you're interested in exploring a trade career for yourself, check out the wide range of apprenticeships and trade courses offered at TAFE Queensland.