Published on September 26, 2023


By day, Mat Craig works at Hunter Valley Grammar School as our dedicated Strength and Conditioning Coach, helping our students with their health and fitness. In afternoons and on weekends (game day) Mat works with the National Rugby League Women’s Knights team! Delve deeper into Mat’s journey, exploring his pivotal role with the NRLW, the highlights of working with elite female athletes, and how his multifaceted experiences enhance the education of HVGS students. 


Could you describe your responsibilities and position within the NRLW?

I am a Trainer! My role predominantly revolves around the physical performance of the upcoming players in the pathways system. I also work with the NRLW to communicate messages from the Head Coach to the players during games, as well as assisting our Skills and Strength and Conditioning Coaches at training.


How did you get into working with the Knights?


I have worked with the Knights Pathways programs for the last few seasons predominantly as their Strength and Conditioning Coach. The NRLW were in need of a trainer with expertise in both Rugby League and Strength and conditioning so I jumped at it! 


What have been some highlights of working with the NRLW


Building relationships with a new team of female elite athletes with a huge desire to succeed. Observing the dedication of the women in the female sports arena as they strive to establish a legacy, not only for themselves and their teammates but also in their efforts to develop women’s sports has been the biggest highlight of all. It’s been awesome working with them. 


In what ways does this experience enhance your abilities to teach and support the students at Hunter Valley Grammar School?


Working closely with elite female athletes has been an incredible experience for me. It has not only broadened my understanding of their specific requirements but has also greatly enriched my skillset. It’s all part of my commitment to continually enhance my expertise in strength and conditioning and the overall development of athletes. 


What is your role at HVGS as the Strength and Conditioning Coach? 


Here at Hunter Valley Grammar School, I predominately design and implement Strength and Conditioning programs for our elite athletes and students eager to embark on a journey of improved athleticism and, above all, enhanced health and well-being. I also work closely with the school’s Elite Athlete Program (EAP), linking them with other professionals such as guest speakers, as well as observing their growth and maturation via professional screening to find the best training solutions for them at any given time. One of my favourite programs is the School Holiday program we have been running for about a year now, I get to work with students from Years 5-12 of all different fitness levels and get to keep them active throughout the holidays. It’s a lot of fun and I love helping them kick fitness goals! 


How can our students work with you?

Parents can sign up via the parent lounge for morning/afternoon training sessions! Or pop in the gym any time for a chat about a plan! I’m extremely passionate about helping our students reach their potential, or just maintain their health and fitness the best they can.