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Career Development: Rhys Kennedy

The Career Development Q&A is an RLPA content series that promotes career development opportunities for players and the importance of planning for life after footy.

Each article will feature an NRL player who has engaged in meaningful development opportunities away from the field, while also providing an insight for other players and the industry about their journey.

The content series also highlights academic achievements from within the playing group, many of which have utilised the support available through the NRL-RLPA Wellbeing and Education program.

The series has already featured a host of stars previously – including Tom TrbojevicChristian Welch and Chris Lawrence.

Part 14 of the Career Development Q&A features Brisbane Broncos forward, Rhys Kennedy.

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Q1 What off field development are you completing or have completed?

I have recently completed a Bachelor of Exercise Science at The University of Wollongong. I have also been accepted into a Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology at Australian Catholic University to begin in 2021.

Q2 Why did you choose this field?

I didn’t like studying at school. A couple years after finishing school I felt the urge to go back and learn. After coming through the junior NRL systems I found a liking to the training methods and reasoning behind them which led me to enrol in my undergrad.

Q3 Did you always have this career path in mind?

Not always. Coming through the Under 20’s system I did a trial as a Chippies apprentice and worked in shipping containers. I discovered that the tradie life wasn’t for me.

Q4 Have you utilised any support available to players through the NRL-RLPA Wellbeing and Education program?

Yes, I have utilised the educational grants available for study costs throughout my degree. The communication between Club welfare officers and universities has also been a great help in regards to creating flexibility with classes.

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Q5 What plans or goals do you have for post-retirement?

 To work as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist.

Q6 If you could give yourself one piece of career advice back in your rookie year what would it be?

Jump earlier at the opportunity to use the education grants while you’re playing footy. Sporting careers are only a short period of your life, especially Rugby League.

Q7 How have the skills you have developed through playing NRL helped with your educational development?

The ups and downs of Rugby League have taught me how to deal with adversity in life including being able to handle the study load at university. My studies have also been related to my sport so I have been able to gain plenty of experience through observing and learning from Sports Science coaches.

Q8 Was there a time you felt like giving up on your studies and if so, what helped you keep going?

 Yes. I remember only a couple years back when I was playing part-time and working more than one job. One of these jobs involved physically demanding demolition work. I thought to myself at work every day, “this is why you need to finish your studies, so that you don’t ever go back to this type of work again”. Not all subjects of the degree were interesting however, I found the majority enjoyable and rewarding which also kept me chipping away.

Read more Career Development Q&As from across the NRL below:

PART 1: Chris Lawrence

PART 2: Christian Welch

PART 3: Dale Copley

PART 4: Darius Boyd

PART 5: David Gower

PART 6: Blake Green

PART 7: Sia Soliola

PART 8: Russell Packer

PART 9: Chad Townsend

PART 10: Tom Trbojevic

PART 11: Lachlan Fitzgibbon

PART 12: Anthony Don

PART 13: Connor Tracey