It was a strange experience throughout infants and primary school because I truly had no interest in sport at all. I remember being in the egg and spoon race in Kindergarten and in the sack races throughout infants. The funniest thing of all was the start of each day at school during infants. We used to spend 5 minutes or so at the beginning of the school day doing star jumps to “Let’s get physical” by Olivia Newton John.
I was never picked in any sports teams in Primary school and felt very ordinary. I guess I felt that academic pursuits were my ticket to greater things in life and I ignored almost every sporting pursuit. I was never really interested in soccer, although I played it when I was 5, 6 and 7 years old for the Jesmond Rams in Newcastle. I was a full back and liked the position because it meant I could stand there and watch the game – I really did hate it.
My father decided that I needed to be toughened up when I was 7 years old and I was put into kick boxing classes which I continued for many years and competed on a state wide level, winning and learning much needed discipline and self control in the process. It’s amazing how much self-defence training has influenced my life.
I also started to think that I could do other things and the big change for me started when I was 10 years old when I found that I was a great cricket bowler and very quick which stunned me as much as it did the other players in the school team. I was accurate, online and at a good length and I suddenly thought that sport might have been interesting. I learnt to bat (maybe slog) and scored runs quickly. I found that smashing other team bowlers was easy and softball, t-ball and continuous cricket became must do’s.
I then tried cross country running and came second in the school and then in high school won the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, shot put, javelin and discuss and then followed that up at zone and regional carnivals and suddenly became a state champion and at 12 years old felt great about myself. Rugby League was my next major discovery with premierships at club and school level and then found myself in representative teams such as Newcastle and the Knights.
I guess sport taught me so much during my younger years and I still love to watch Athletics at the Olympics and I adore the Brisbane Broncos in rugby league. You just never know what you might be good at and I love the fact that I was exposed to so many wonderful sports.