Work hard, look after yourself, and be a good role model.
It’s solid advice at any point in life, but students from Narrandera Public School got to hear it from former Parramatta Eels player Dennis Moran.
Mr Moran, who now works for Country Rugby League (CRL) as a development officer, came to give the students an hour’s football training and also came to give the students a talk about self-respect and becoming a responsible person.
“We educate kids about not just being better players, but about becoming better people,” Mr Moran said. After organising the students through three different rugby skills games, Mr Moran talked to the kids about his life and career.
“I’m from Armidale; that’s where they build all the young, strong fellas like me,” Mr Moran said. “I moved away from Armidale when I was 15, because there were a lot of blokes who were doing nothing. I wanted to get a good education. I played for Parramatta for four seasons, and then I went to England and played for them for eight years. My eldest son, he was born in London – we call him the Koori Pom. I moved home and the reason I came home was because I wanted my sons to know where they came from.”
Mr Moran talked to the students about becoming better people.
“Being that person who says no when someone does something wrong. Being a role model. What if we see something that we know is wrong? We tell an adult. It’s about looking after your community, and Narrandera is a small community.
“Outside of school, there’s rugby league. That’s like having another family. That’s how you build relationships, and build good friendships. Hopefully you can take something away into your sport, your community and your school.”
While not all the students will be looking to become professional rugby players, Mr Moran offered the children an invaluable piece of life advice.
“Because of my work I got to travel the world. I got to go to Disneyland in Orlando. That’s what you can do when you look after yourselves.”