Newcastle Knights’ NYC player Brody Lam has been awarded the Hunter TAFE Newcastle Knights Student of the Month Award for March.
The award recognises the young winger's ability to balance success on the football field and in the classroom.
The New Zealand born 18-year-old has always fostered a passion for working with children so decided to study a Certificate IV in Community Services at Hunter TAFE.
“I want to work with kids, that’s why I took the course,” he said.
“When I first came over, if I didn’t make it in rugby league that’s what I wanted to do."
Hunter TAFE’s course coordinator, Andrew Hawkins has been impressed with Lam’s application in the classroom and says he’s a valued member of his class.
“Brody is studious, quiet in class and enjoys the opportunity to interact with other students, forming relationships with fellow students,” Hawkins said.
"Brody’s progress with his studies to date is a testament to his resilience, resourcefulness and maturity as he has settled into a new environment, a different country, different culture and with limited family support.
“Brody participates in classes, offering opinion and keen to share cultural information from his upbringing in New Zealand.”
The towering winger joined the NYC Newcastle Knights last year from New Zealand and has found the relocation a constant learning experience.
“I was actually a rugby union boy, so when I first game over, it was basically my first year of playing league,” Lam added.
“It’s a whole new game and I’m just getting my head around it.
“I’m hoping to get more games and hopefully will get more experience.”
Brody draws comparisons between what he learns in the classroom and how he applies himself at training and in game.
“You have to study for the game and work on what you have to work on in class too," he said.
“It’s about getting used to the routine and from there it’s just easy."
While driven to succeed in his study, his main priority is to establish himself among the NYC Knights.
“That’s what my dream, is to play professionally," Lam said.
“My goals are to score tries and help the team out.
“You never know when you’re time might be up when you’re playing football. It’s always good to have a back door option in case this one doesn’t work.”
The partnership between Hunter TAFE and The Newcastle Knights has seen the organisations develop an ongoing program to assist players to access training while managing professional football commitments.
Hunter TAFE has worked closely with the Club to develop the High Performance Sports Hub at the Newcastle Campus that includes a range of facilities that enable the players to both study and train.
Lam is named the March Student of the Month after Bradie Smith was February's Student of the Month.