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Posted by RLPA

June 03, 2020

Career Development: Christian Welch

The Rugby League Players’ Association (RLPA) has launched a new 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 2 of the Career Development Q&A features Melbourne Storm forward and RLPA Player Advisory Group member, Christian Welch.

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

I’ve graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Commerce degree and currently studying my Masters of Business Administration (MBA) at UNSW. I was also lucky to attend Harvard for a short course on negotiation strategy with Ryan Hoffman and a bunch of Warriors boys (Tohu Harris, Blake Green, Stephen Kearney etc).

Q2 Why did you choose this field?

I finished high school unsigned and went to University in Brisbane for a year. I had a goal of playing in the NRL, but it was more of a dream than a reality in those days. I was a skinny rugby union centre. So, it was always important to build a life outside of footy as that path was never guaranteed. 

Q3 Have you utilised any support available to players through the NRL-RLPA Wellbeing and Education program?

It has been a great help being able to get learning resources like a laptop especially in under 20’s to help me with my studies. Being able to have most of my course fees covered has been a huge financial help as well.

Q4 What plans or goals do you have for post-retirement?

I would like to stay involved in sport working in the commercial side.

Q5 If you could give yourself one piece of career advice back in your rookie year what would it be?

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. By building a life outside of footy, it will help a lot when you go through adversity during your playing career.

Q6 How important is it for players and the industry to prioritise career development opportunities?

I think just need to be realistic to yourself. A great career is getting to 30 in the NRL. So much of your work life is in front of you post-retirement. Try to find something you are passionate about and start chipping away at it when you are in the footy bubble.

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

To get to the NRL you must be driven, resilient and work hard. If you have those qualities, I am sure you’ll go far. You can always pick up the knowledge on the journey.

Stay tuned for next week’s Career Development Q&A with another member of the RLPA Player Advisory Group!

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