Vice-Captain Mitchell Pearce has been nominated for the 2014 Harvey Norman Favourite Son Award, won last year by his Skipper Anthony Minichiello.
The Harvey Norman Favourite Son Award acknowledges an NRL player whose attitude and character has an outstanding influence on the game. The recipient is a player whose integrity and reputation makes the game more appealing to women, someone who encourages mothers to involve their families in Rugby League.
Some of the NRL’s most respected stars have been nominated, with the winner to be announced on Wednesday, May 14, at the Women in League Sydney Lunch, the official start to the Harvey Norman Women in League initiative, to be celebrated during Round 10 of the Telstra Premiership (May 16-19).
Ahead of the final days of voting, Pearce caught up with Roosters.com.au for a chat about what it means to him and the importance of Women In League Round.
What does it mean to you to be nominated for the Favourite Son Award?
I didn’t actually know the Club had put me forward for the award, so when I found out I was hugely honoured to think that those here at the Roosters thought I was worthy. It’s not the most celebrated award in our game but if you ask any player, it’s a massive deal to be recognised and for me to just be in the mix is very exciting.
What’s the importance of Women In League Round in recognising the valuable contribution and role women play in our game?
For me, it’s a good chance for everyone involved in our game to be reminded of exactly what you said – the valuable contribution that women give to our game. It’s not about only thinking about it for this week out of all 52 in a year, it’s just a reminder to take a minute and just really appreciate the unbelievable efforts of the women in our game.
We’ve all got Mums that were there on the BBQ at junior footy or managing a bunch of kids to help them play the game they love, or even those women that are here in the offices at the Roosters and across the whole game.
It’s a male dominated sport, so I think the Round is important in ensuring we just take that time to recognise and remember the hard work of the Women in our game and in our lives.
What role have the women in your life played in helping you reach where you are today?
Firstly, I don’t think any player can question the effort of their Mum in helping them get to where they are today. I obviously had a huge influence in my Dad being a former player, but my mum Terri has been just as big an influence on my career.
I’m so lucky to have sisters as well who keep me grounded and have also been there with me for the whole journey as well. They’re the ones who will throw an arm over your shoulder if you have a bad game and there also the ones who will bring you back down to earth when you’re on top of the world.
I was so fortunate to share the lap of honour after last year’s Grand Final win with them and it made the greatest night of my life just that little bit more special.
I also have a beautiful girlfriend Phoebe, who has been there through it all. She’s there every day, at every game, with me when it’s bad and with me when it’s good. She’s a huge support to me, so much so it’s hard to explain just how much she does.
I couldn’t have done what I have or be where I am without any of the women in my life.
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