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Posted by RLPA

July 22, 2020

Career Development: Chad Townsend

The Rugby League Players’ Association (RLPA) has launched a content series promoting career development opportunities for players and the importance of planning for life after footy.

The Career Development Q&A will each week feature a player who has engaged in meaningful development opportunities away from the field, 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.

Part 9 of the Career Development Q&A features Cronulla Sharks player and RLPA Delegate, Chad Townsend.

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

I have completed a Diploma Financial Planning, Diploma Sports Development, Certificate IV in Frontline Management and Certificate III/IV in Fitness.

Q2 Why did you choose this field?

I’ve had an interest in all of these areas whilst I’ve been playing sport professionally.

Q3 Did you always have this career path in mind?

I want to keep my options open as to what my career post-football looks like. I have found that some of the areas I’m into now, I wasn’t into earlier on in my career.

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

I’ve always used the support available to help me throughout my studies.

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

I would love to work in the media – on television or on the radio. I have a huge passion for sports and that’s why I created my own podcast “Talk Of The Town”. I’ve already started working with a few media outlets and I plan to build these relationships whilst I’m still playing in the NRL.

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

Do as many courses as you can. It does not matter if they’re long or short. Read more books.

Q7 How important is it for players and the industry to prioritise career development opportunities?

You need a backup plan because rugby league does not last forever.

Q8 How have the skills you have developed through playing NRL helped with your educational development?

My communication skills have definitely developed, as well as my resilience

Q9 How important is having the support of your coach and football staff when pursuing education options?

It is massive to have a coach who supports you as a person as well as a footballer.

Q10 Was there a time you felt like giving up on your studies and if so, what helped you keep going?

I’ve definitely gone through tough times studying, not knowing answers, failing, these are all normal. But the important thing is to never give up and always keep the end goal in mind.

Q11 What is something you are currently doing away from the field that you are most proud of? (e.g. career related activity, community work, supporting a charity or something people might not know about you)

Away from the field I’m really proud of the work I’ve done in my community. Growing up in the shire and playing for the Sharks means a lot to me and that was one of the main reasons I partnered with one meal, a not for profit charity who deliver meals to those in need on a weekly basis every Sunday evening.



Stay tuned for next week’s Career Development Q&A and check out the first eight articles with members of the RLPA Player Advisory Group and more 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

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