Melbourne Rebel’s Cameron Orr says the recent quarantine provided a great opportunity for him to upskill and focus in on his university studies.
Orr was one of thirteen players who used this unprecedented time away from the rugby field to sharpen up their skills in the classroom.
The popular prop – already studying a degree in Nutrition and Exercise at the University of South Australia – used the past two months to increase his education workload, taking on two extra TAFE courses in Business.
“I started a Certificate of Attainment in Business Skills and one in Executive Skills and then added on an extra unit with my university course.
“It’s been a lot of extra workload, but I’ve had the time to commit to it, so I feel like I’m back in school now having to go home and do homework after rugby training.
“Studying can become a bit stagnant with a big training load, so it was good to just focus and get ahead with that.
“It’s been great for my balance and a good opportunity to get a massive step forward which I wouldn’t have had if we were playing week in week out.”
Deakin University’s Master of Finance student, Ross Haylett-Petty, says having a strong focus outside of rugby has been instrumental in keeping him fresh during rugby’s traditionally demanding in-season schedule.
“I come from a family of teachers where education was expected, so from that point it’s been really beneficial, and I believe there’s always enough time for players to get better through education.
“Plus, it really helps knowing I can turn off the rugby at home and think about something else.”
The number 8 used his time away from the club to focus in on his masters, while also taking the opportunity to put his classroom knowledge into practice.
“I managed to jump into the stock market a bit, so I could apply some of the things I’ve been learning.
“I looked for a whole lot of opportunities to keep my mind going.
“But I’m really glad I had university to keep me going and keep me switched on.”
Angus Cottrell, currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Property, Real Estate and Development, says it’s paramount for players to use this opportunity to plan ahead for their post-playing futures.
“It’s extremely important to look what’s ahead.
“Australian rugby has put a huge emphasis on players doing stuff outside of rugby compared to when I first started in 2011, which is really important because you never know when this will all end, so it’s really important to make sure you’re prepared.”