Hunter TAFE Newcastle Knights Student of the Month Award for June goes to Knights junior Jack Mackin who has excelled in managing a busy schedule of fulltime work, study and football.
Jack is currently employed at Coastline Plumbing and balances studying a Certificate III in Plumbing at Hunter TAFE as well as training with the Knights.
“I was really excited to receive the award, it’s nice to know that I’ve been juggling my studies and footy well, so it’s good to get the acknowledgment,” Mackin told Knights TV.
What makes the whole process easier for the young Knight is the support he has behind the scenes in the way of his TAFE teacher and the Club's coaching staff.
“My teacher Murray (Atkins) is understanding about the commitments I have outside of TAFE so it’s good to have someone like that around,” he said.
Standing at the Knights’ training facility at Hunter TAFE’s Tighes Hill Campus all, Mackin has to do is look over his shoulder and he can see his study block.
“It’s really good, I just finish and go straight over there,” he added.
While Mackin is making impressive headway in his plumbing career, football is his number one passion and he holds hopes of playing at the highest level.
“That’s always been the main goal. Plumbing is just a back up,” he said.
Mackin hails from Queensland and played his junior football for Runaway Bay before joining the Knights junior system in 2013.
The 19-year-old has since made two appearances in the Under 20s side and has scored a try for the team.
“The coaches are really good. They know you have work commitments so you just let them know and it’s not a problem if you’re a few minutes late, they understand," he said.
“Having quality coaches around to help me progress has been really good.
“There’s lot’s of support here, I like it here a lot."