Posted by RLPA
Don: Build connections while playing
Anthony Don has now spent a full season away from playing since the final siren of his 152-game, 85-try career for the Gold Coast Titans.
What has The Don been up to? And, what we can learn from his transition journey?
WHAT DID YOU DO IN YOUR FIRST YEAR OF RETIREMENT?
“In the first year of retirement I went straight into the workforce. I already was a qualified PE teacher and started working at Palm Beach Currumbin High School and continued working for the Gold Coast Titans in the junior development program and corporate areas.”
WHAT DID YOU FIND MOST DIFFICULT ABOUT RETIRING FROM THE NRL?
“The hardest part was turning up to places on time and organising your weeks and months. When you are playing you are given specifics of where to be and when. In the workforce managing a number of different jobs, staying organised has been challenging. And the free gear, I don’t like paying for joggers and training kits.”
WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU KNEW ABOUT TRANSITIONING THAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW WHEN YOU WERE PLAYING?
“I had already worked before playing in the NRL so nothing really was a shock.”
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL A YOUNG PLAYER ABOUT TRANSITIONING & RETIREMENT?
“Build connections in an area you are interested in, and start participating in work experience and undertake courses or university that will make working in this job a possibility. Businesses love elite athlete’s associations so they will be very welcoming.”
WHAT IS AN AREA OF GROWTH FOR THE GAME IN REGARD TO PLAYER TRANSITION?
“The game could provide private health for a certain period of time, depending how many seasons the player had in the game. Overall the game does a fantastic job in transitioning.”
HOW DID THE RLPA AND THE WELLBEING & EDUCATION PROGRAM HELP YOU TRANSITION?
“Both the Gold Coast Titans and RLPA supported my education financially and with designated study periods throughout the week. This enabled me to complete an MBA whilst playing professionally.”