Schoolboy shifts into big league
A titanic effort by former Tokoroa school boy Keanu Dawson has secured him a contract with the Gold Coast Titans under-14 representative as well as the Queensland U15 squad.
Keanu’s mother and father Melissa and Paul Putoko who are based in Tokoroa are extremely proud of their son’s achievements.
‘‘We are so proud of him. It was a very hard decision to make to let him go to Australia.’’
Mrs Putoko is talking about the decision to allow their son, at age 12 to follow his dream of being a professional league player.
‘‘My mum and dad were living in Australia with my younger brother Melvin so that did make it easier. Our son has been hooked on league since age four playing for our local team the Forestland Falcons. It was the hardest decision to make. Now that we have seen him really grab this opportunity with two hands and run with it, has made that decision worth it,’’ Mrs Putoko said.
Mr Putoko added: ‘‘ He is the type of kid that fits right into any situation. Being selected into the Gold Coast Titans exposes him to some great role models.’’
Keanu attends Keebra Park High School, a school that is known to produce top players such as Benji Marshal to the West City Tigers.
Speaking from Australia, the humble teen described his success as ‘‘cool.’’ Instead of choosing a well known league player as one of his idols, the Tokoroa teen looked closer to home.
‘‘I really look up to my uncles, Melvin and Anthony. My idols are my granddad (Colin Dawson) and dad.’’ The young teen’s favorite player is Nathan Hindmarsh.
Mr and Mrs Putoko said the cost of their son’s ambition was expensive but well worth every cent. ‘‘We have had huge whanau support,’’ Mrs Putoko said, ‘‘we will look at running a fundraiser in the near future.’’