Scott Barker was in the first intake of sport and exercise science students at USC in 1999. The schoolboy rugby league player had graduated Year 12 in Brisbane with a high enough score to study a human movement degree at a big Brisbane university but opted to commute to the Sunshine Coast for the new degree, which sounded more practical for his game plan to carve a career in the professional sport industry.
Around the same time as enrolling at USC, Mr Barker had written a letter to Wayne Bennett, the then coach of Brisbane’s premier National Rugby League (NRL) team the Broncos. He started volunteering at team training, doing everything he could, from holding up the tackle bags to filling water bottles.
Fast forward 16 years … The USC graduate is now Head of Performance Analysis for both the Brisbane Broncos and Australian Rugby League teams.
“I’ve been very lucky to do a lot of the things that people in the sport and exercise science world would love to do,” he said. “I’ve worked at the highest levels in Rugby League, with some of the best players and coaches of all time, and have been involved in some big tournament wins with our national team.”
On the eve of the Broncos playing in the NRL finals in Brisbane last September, Wayne Bennett recalled how he met Mr Barker, and the value of his work over the years.
“Scott first turned up to the Broncos after writing me a letter in 2000. He turned up day after day, with no promise of a job or payment of any kind. He was willing to do all the jobs no-one else wanted to do. This probably stood out to me the most. Later, Scott showed he was never afraid to try new things to improve the performance of the team or player. He has been an innovator in the area of sports technology. He strives to be ahead of the game and where it’s going. Working at the highest levels in the game with the best teams for a long period of time is his great achievement in this industry.”