HELPING kids have fun, get fit and feel confident is all in a day’s work for Narooma Primary principal, Paul Sweeny, who is now in the running for a National Rugby League community award.
His work introducing kids to rugby league as a pathway to developing life skills such as teamwork and increased fitness has earned him a place in the running for the NRL One Community Awards, Primary Teacher of the Year Award.
“I’m not involved in rugby league for awards but to see the children grow and have fun, I’m truly honoured by the recognition and must recognise in any school or club, there is a team of hard working people behind the scenes. One person cannot do it alone,” Mr Sweeney said.
“Rugby League, like all sports, promotes many positive life skills, teamwork, co-operation, dedication, determination, and so on. Children who play sport also increase their self-esteem and ability to make positive relationships,” Mr Sweeney said.
“I believe rugby league reflects society as it is made up of people from all walks of life. Rugby league promotes tolerance, understanding and acceptance of everyone. The culture of rugby league or the Narooma school and club is to provide positive role models for children to aspire to become,” he said.
Paul has been involved with rugby since he was five-years-old, playing in his younger days, coaching at many schools including Narooma and now coaching and contributing to the local Narooma Devil’s club.
“I love everything about it, from seeing a child's smile from participating in training, drills or a game to the more competitive side where the children are achieving goals at higher levels. It is truly a great game for the kids,” Mr Sweeney said.
When asked to nominate his biggest achievement he said it was the safe play code.
“For parents who are a little concerned about safety or children getting hurt, the safe play code has allowed many children to play our game in an environment where injuries are close to non-existent,” he said
The awards will be announced on Monday, September 30, at Sydney Town Hall.