Former Wallaby visits TAS

RUBBING SHOULDERS: Students Cal Moffatt, Sam Weston and Nick Kirk heard from Old Boy and former Wallaby Jamie Holbeck about mental health.
RUBBING SHOULDERS: Students Cal Moffatt, Sam Weston and Nick Kirk heard from Old Boy and former Wallaby Jamie Holbeck about mental health.

Students from The Armidale School had the opportunity to hear from one of their own, who made a name on an international stage. 

Former Wallaby Jamie Holbeck visited his old school last week to convey an important message.

“The batyr organisation is about getting the elephant in the room to talk so to get kids to be more aware of if you have an issue, go and seek some help,” he said. 

“I spoke about things like self-worth, which is one of the protective factors of mental health, and I spoke about some parts of connection and community, which is also a bit of a protective factor as well.” 

One young student got the chance to do something aspiring rugby stars dream of doing, tackling a Wallaby. 

“It was a good fun, in year five I had a boy tackle me. We were looking at times in their life where they have used strategies to overcome something so one of the young students was talking about [how] his coach had given him a different technique to bring down big people and I challenged him to tackle me,” Holbeck said. 

Holbeck said he hoped to inspire the students into chasing their dreams. 

“For a lot of kids in the country, it can seem like a difficult challenge to go and conquer things in the city and that is where you have to be to do well in sport and sometimes in work and education so we limit ourselves when the path isn't clear,” he said. “I think you have to be really resilient to push through some of those challenges and be aware they are there and regardless, throw everything into it. If it is something you want to do, don't hold back.”