I want to share a story of patience and perseverance that leads to recognition: a story of daring to stand up against cultural norms and doing what you feel is best for you! It’s not my story, it’s my son’s. And maybe one day he’ll get to tell it better: for now I’ve written it down before my dear old brain starts forgetting things! 😊
In November 2020, our then 15 year old son, VK, made a life changing decision: to step back from junior AFL development squads and to concentrate on playing touch football.
This tough decision was made after we received an email from the GWS Giants academy inviting VK to join phase 1 of 2021 u17s development squad training. Regrettably I replied to the email, turning down the invitation and advised them that VK had chosen to pursue other summer sports opportunities.
As parents we were utterly disappointed at that time and, to be honest, expressed it openly with him. Bless his young heart, VK took it all in his stride and let his playing do all the talking for him! In December 2020, he was one of a handful of young players (16 years and under) representing Parramatta Touch Men’s Premier Divison team, at the annual NSWTA senior touch competition in Port Macquarie: a 15 yo playing in premier divison!
Due to covid restrictions, we could not travel with him nor be at the games for the 3 day tournament. His team was knocked out in the quarter finals.
That 2020 summer of training, playing with and against other youth players and men, some of whom were a year or more, older than him – has immensely helped VK develop as a touch football player. So much that it was evident in his games at two separate junior events, held earlier this year – representing boys u16s – firstly for Parramatta Touch in February (in Wagga Wagga) and then the Sydney Scorpions (in Orange) in May. At both tournaments, his teams lost in the final and semi-final respectively.
Inspite of the disappointing finals losses, the biggest triumph for VK in 2021 is the recognition of his skills/ abilities – firstly by NSWTA at the conclusion of Orange Junior regionals tournament where he was named in the NSW merit team for u16 boys.
And secondly by Touch Football Australia with his selection into the National Youth Squad. This recognition and selection provides VK with an opportunity to train with the squad and fingercrossed, get a spot in the final youth team to represent Australia at future International Touch Football events.
At the time of writing this (July 2021) we hope and pray that covid restrictions will ease sooner rather than later, so he can join the squad for their 1st training camp in Gold Coast early next month.
To all his coaches, the managers and team mates including parents from Parra Touch and Sydney Scorpions, who have helped VK out in one way or another – we thank you for your support. Without you all VK wouldn’t be where he is today.
Thank you to Touch Football Australia, NSWTA, Sydney Scorpions and Parramatta Touch for the show of confidence in VK and the opportunities to play for respective squads.
In wake of the most recent changes to NSW Regions, it’s sad to see that Parramatta Touch will not be with Sydney Scorpions from 2022 onwards! We will miss the Scorps outings, but not the 2 hour drives to Nolan or Narrabeen reserves for training etc 😅 .
To VK – congratulations son, you did it! ❤ We are extremely proud of and wish you nothing but the best in your touch football journey. We got you, and most importantly God’s got you always 🙏
“You are the master of your destiny: No one and nothing can come in between you and your destiny except you. Take destiny by the horns and have fun.” ~ Master Oogway, Kung Fu Panda ~
My son’s story is a testament for us and many others out there – that as parents, we can’t control our children’s destiny. That it’s OK, to let them make the tough decisions, make mistakes too, own the consequences and learn from it all. It’s part & parcel of the growing up process. And yes, VK still has a lot of growing up and learning to do in the years ahead.
All we can do is have patience, loads of it, and be always there for all our children; to support them in EVERY circumstance along the way. Cheer them on at their highs, cry with them or offer support at their lows – but NOT control their destiny.
It is true, with perseverance comes recognition – so don’t give up on your children. Trust in God always to keep them safe and to help them achieve their dreams 🙏❤
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.