Leg­ends share wis­dom

Stu­dents are lis­ten­ing to role mod­els

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Ja­cob Wil­son ja­cob.wil­son@whit­sun­day­times.com.au

“WE’RE no dif­fer­ent to you guys.”

This is the mes­sage Leg­ends of League cham­pion Nathan Black­lock had for Whit­sun­day Chris­tian Col­lege stu­dents last week, not­ing that one thing ev­ery­one in the room had in com­mon was they all came from re­gional towns.

Mr Black­lock’s home town of Tingha in NSW has a pop­u­la­tion be­low 1000.

He said it didn’t mat­ter where you came from or what your back­ground was, great­ness was within reach for those with the de­ter­mi­na­tion and abil­ity to make it hap­pen.

“Peo­ple have ex­cuses about not go­ing to where they want to go, but guys like us put our heads down and set our­selves a goal,” he said.

And the nuggets of wis­dom kept on com­ing, as fel­low league leg­ends Craig Tee­van, Craig Wil­son, Stu­art Kelly and Chris­tian Power spoke can­didly about both their suc­cesses and chal­lenges.

Mr Tee­van thought all his dreams were re­alised when he made his NRL de­but for the Bron­cos at the age of 18

How­ever, a few stum­bling blocks came his way dur­ing his first off-sea­son, where he “par­tied hard” and “played up” and got sacked by the Bron­cos, Cronulla Sharks and Manly Sea Ea­gles by the age of 22.

“I par­tied hard and wanted to be pop­u­lar with drink­ing and get­ting in trou­ble,” he said.

“So all of my dreams were be­ing washed away in front of me be­cause of my poor choices, so I thought, ‘what do I do?’.”

Mr Tee­van said he de­cided to call Wayne Ben­nett to re­turn to the Bron­cos and work his way up from the re­serve grade.

It was at this point he said he needed to turn a cor­ner and achieve the “proud­est mo­ment” of his life.

“I got rid of the al­co­hol, and worked on my diet cut­ting out bread and but­ter and in that off-sea­son in­stead of be­ing at the back of the pack dur­ing train­ing I was at the front of the pack,” he said.

“Six weeks into the new sea­son I was picked to play for Queens­land in the State of Ori­gin.”

The Leg­ends of League vis­its to Whit­sun­day Chris­tian Col­lege and Proser­pine State High School last Thurs­day pre­ceded the match held at Deni­son Park in Bowen on Satur­day be­tween the Whit­sun­day and Aus­tralian All Stars, with Aus­tralia win­ning the light­hearted match.

Or­gan­is­ers es­ti­mated up to 3000 peo­ple at­tended the full day event.

LEG­ENDARY: Whit­sun­day Chris­tian Col­lege stu­dents and the Leg­ends of League got to know each other last week.

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