People of LoganApril 26, 2024 / 3 minute read

Mabel Park powerhouse signs with Gold Coast Titans

When Tyson MacDonald isn’t working on trigonometry equations, he’s putting in the hard yards as a newly drafted Gold Coast Titans player.

Life is about to change for Tyson, a Year 11 student at Mabel Park State High School (MPSHS), who has always dreamed of signing with a professional rugby league team.

Reserved, disciplined and explosive on the field, Tyson is more focused than ever.

‘When I got signed, my family looked happier than I was – I’m not good at showing my emotion,’ he says.

‘But I’m very grateful and I couldn’t have done it without the people around me.

‘I just love everything about rugby – I want to dedicate everything I can to the sport.’

As part of the Rugby Excellence Program at his school, Tyson trains for up to 3 hours a day with a focus on strength training and improving rugby-specific technical skills.

The school’s head coach, Ben Weston, has been the driving force behind the latest wave of elite athletes like Tyson.

‘I’ve been playing rugby league since I was 5. It’s always been a massive part of my life,’ Ben says.

‘When my body couldn’t handle it anymore, I started coaching.

‘I love everything about the sport – the physicality, the opportunity it provides for the boys and as a coach, one of the most rewarding things is to see their improvement as a team and that sense of brotherhood.’

The MPSHS boys’ rugby team finished second at last year’s Langer Trophy competition and is now aiming for gold.

‘The school program is excellent, we’ve come a long way and we’re attracting more talent and better athletes each year,’ Ben says.

‘Tyson is athletically talented – strong and fast with a big frame. He’s also very coachable, always asking questions and wanting to improve and get better.

‘His improvement since joining the program has been out of sight and is one of the reasons he landed that contract.’

This commitment to learning is one of the many pre-requisites of the school’s Sports Excellence program, which requires applicants to demonstrate a dedication to achievement on and off the field.

‘We look at the person first and not the athlete, because it’s about building a culture that people want to be a part of,’ Ben says.

‘Everything is done to a high standard – like always wearing the correct uniform, making sure you’re on time to training and classes – because it all transfers directly to the footy game.’

Ben is certain that Tyson will continue to maintain the same standard of excellence and succeed as a Gold Coast Titans player.

‘The Rugby Excellence Program has helped a lot, excellent for me and the other boys around me,’ Tyson says.

‘Weston’s good – his coaching has helped me understand the game a lot more and now that I’ll be doing wing for the Titans, I’m learning a lot of new things.’

Learn more about MPSHS’s Sports Excellence Program.

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