Our rising 17 year old grandson,Pride Petterson-Robati, contracted to the Melbourne Storm NRL professional rugby league club in the Australian competition for six years, from 15 years old, flew home to Wellington for a week this afternoon.
He called in to our place in Lower Hutt,on the way home to his parents home in Upper Hutt. He had three of his young sisters with him when he called. Another sister is bussing back from the Hawkes Bay about 220 miles away tomorrow to see and be with him. He hasn't been home since last July 2011 when the Storm club rushed him back to be with his ill mother in hospital. She recovered reasonably well. He stayed in NZ for three weeks.
The Storm pays his accomodation, and his schooling at one of the top schools in Victoria - Hallem Senior College, a school specialising in rugby league and Australian Rules, and other sports as well. He receives an allowance as well.
He has just finished playing for the club's Under 18 side in the SG Ball competition, and will be eligible for Under 20's when he turns 17 years in mid June. His allowance will increase considerably as well.
He'll be home for a week. It is school holidays in Australia as well at the present time. He studies Business Management and Accountancy at Hallem. All young professional rugby league players have to study or train for "after football. As I tell people, a player could also be one serious injury away from football too. They have to have something to fall back on. I read about a young player in his early 20's who has completed two years towards a doctor's degree. He knows it may take him a few years to complete the degree, but he knows that one way or another he will in time.
We look forward to bumping into Pride during the next week as he visits other members of the family, relations and friends. No doubt he'll be seeing old team mates from his Under 15 days - to them he is a hero and legend. He sends a message to them. Play and learn hard and who knows, there might be a future for them too!
I hope you all are having a great Easter with family and friends too. We are proud of our Pride!