Central Queensland rugby league players find careers as disability support workers
A partnership between a disability support service and a regional rugby league team is providing jobs for players and helping the service prepare for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
About half a dozen players with the Rockhampton-based Central Queensland Capras are now working as disability support workers with the Endeavour Foundation.
Some have come from physically demanding jobs such as labouring or working at the local meatworks, which meant they sometimes came to training already tired from a full day's work.
Coach Kim Williams said at this level of competition their players are balancing outside employment with nine to 12 hours' training per week and club commitments all weekend.
"It's very much about them finding balance in their lives, and getting some fulfilment outside footy as well," Mr Williams said.
"I think this is a really rewarding line of work for them, and it helps them get a bit of perspective on their own lives and appreciate the things they've got.
"The nature of the work helps them out, the nature of the hours, but above all I think it just makes them better human beings," coach Kim Williams said.
Capras second-rower John Filipo was washing cars at a dealership before he joined his teammates working for Endeavour.
He said it was good to have a job that used his mind as well as his muscles.
"It's challenging in different ways, not physically but mentally, which is good because it strengthens the mind," Mr Filipo said.
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