While many of their peers were relaxing after finishing Year 12, the Sydney Roosters newest group of athletes on the Under 20s pathway were already back in the classroom.
It is a big leap for many young people as they transition from High School into work or further study.
Confronting them is a new world of work, where it now takes young people on average 2.6 years to secure full-time work, more than double the average of the one year it took for their parents’ generation.
More challenging still is for these young athletes they are managing the challenges of this post school transition alongside navigating the challenges of the Under 20s pathway.
Luckily for these young athletes, unlike many of their peers, they are supported at the Sydney Roosters by a qualified career coach, and a tailored wellbeing and education program.
Narelle Hess, Career Coach & Psychologist highlighted: “we ask a lot from these young men to step up as athletes and engage in work or study to be eligible to play in SG Ball or Jersey Flegg.
"We also need to help them build the skills needed to manage these increased demands”.
To support our young athletes, Sydney Roosters partnered with Elite Athlete Business School to deliver a pre-season professional development program.
The course covered core skills in time management, goal setting, and effective communication, and was designed to ensure that the students would obtain units towards further vocational education.
Rebecca Cook and Jason Nightingale, Directors at Elite Athlete Business School, were certainly impressed with the young Roosters motivation and engagement to complete the program.
Within the program these young athletes also heard from former NRL players, including former Sydney Roosters NRL player Eloni Vunakece, about how they managed the inevitable highs and lows in a sporting career.
Resilience was a big lesson learnt for a number of participants.
Every presenter had a different story about a set back, but also had the end of the story about bouncing back from it.
As highlighted by another participant, the course helped them learn that to be successful.
These young men also learnt plenty about themselves, their strengths, their personal values, and set their own personal goals.
All participants highlighted how important the course was to help them develop the important life skills they will need to help them to be successful at footy, and in life.
Armed with these all-important skills, the Sydney Roosters look forward to seeing the future success of these young athletes in footy, and in life.