National Rugby League player and Southern Cross University student Brad Davis has been balancing his studies to qualify as a secondary school teacher with his rising sporting career.
Brad has stepped in to replace Gold Coast Titans halfback Scott Prince after a season-ending arm injury, and is also in his fourth year of a Bachelor of Human Movement Science/Bachelor of Education double degree at Southern Cross University.
The Queensland Cup veteran said he was glad that he had found time for an education, despite being a reluctant student at first.
“I never wanted to go to university, but I spent four years in Sydney chasing the sporting dream and it didn’t work out for me initially,” said Brad.
“I decided I needed some other skills as back-up.
“I was anxious at the beginning and unsure whether I would like it, but I’ve loved the course and the practical placements.
“I enjoyed being outdoors and working with kids — no two days were the same.
“I found it very rewarding, and promoting physical activity to young people is important.”
Brad has already completed two four-week practical placements, including one at his old school, Palm Beach Currumbin High School on the Gold Coast.
He will undertake one more placement before he graduates, which will no doubt go down well with his lucky students.
Brad said his higher profile had taken some getting used to, but he was keen to give his football career every chance.
“One minute I was just going to uni each day, and the next I’m getting recognised in the street,” he said.
“The football is working out well at the moment, so I’m going to give that priority.
“I am hoping for a full-time contract with the Titans, but I still want to finish my course at some stage – this year if possible.”
Education lecturer at Southern Cross University’s Tweed Gold Coast campus Dr Neville Jennings said that Brad was as well-respected in the classroom as he was on the field.
“I often bumped into Brad at Sydney airport when I was on my way back from conferences and he was returning home after a game, and he explained to me what he was doing out of study hours,” he said.
“He was always a very modest student, but we could all see that there was a hidden talent.
“The university will do everything it can to support him and be flexible with his study options so that he can take the best advantage of the opportunities offered to him in his sporting career.
“We wish him all the very best.”