The Courier-Mail



He had two stints with the Bron­cos dur­ing his ca­reer, but it was dur­ing his sec­ond pe­riod that Dar­ren Smith re­alised he had to be­come se­ri­ous about his de­sire to be a school­teacher. Smith played for the Bron­cos, Bull­dogs and English Su­per League club St He­lens in a ca­reer that spanned 15 years, and study­ing for his teach­ing de­gree took al­most as long. His Bach­e­lor of Phys­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion stud­ies kicked off in 2000, but he did not start teach­ing un­til a decade later. “I al­ways had an idea in the back of my mind that when I fin­ished play­ing footy I wanted to teach,” the 46-year-old re­vealed. “But while it was pos­si­ble to play and study, com­plet­ing my prac­ti­cal was not. And it wasn’t un­til 2009, four years af­ter I re­tired, that I ac­tu­ally grad­u­ated with my Diploma of Ed­u­ca­tion.” Smith won pre­mier­ships with the Bron­cos in 1997 and 1998, then re­turned to play 18 games in 2004-2005, while work­ing as chief ex­ec­u­tive of Bris­bane Easts RLFC. “That work was a great ex­pe­ri­ence, but deep down I knew I wanted to teach,” he said. “In 2008, at 40 years of age, I took a year off work, com­pleted my stud­ies and then landed a po­si­tion at my old school, Clair­vaux Mackil­lop Col­lege. Af­ter ini­tially teach­ing PE, maths and re­li­gion, I am now work­ing in ca­reer path­ways, and lov­ing it.”

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