All but a road to success
Studying and playing a sport at the same isn’t something that usually surprises people. However, playing an elite sport whilst on a pathway to a professional career and studying at the same time is definitely a challenge.
Kye Madden, Canberra Raiders u20’s big man, is currently studying at the University of Canberra like many others. Unlike most students, Kye gets up before 5am to pursue his dream.
At the age of six, Kye started playing rugby. Back then, it was merely a hobby, but he dreamed of playing National Rugby League (NRL) for the big leagues. It wasn’t until he turned 17 that this dream had a realistic chance of coming to fruition. Currently, he is in his final year of the under-20’s competition, meaning that it’s his last shot at impressing NRL scouts and head coaches to get a senior contract.
“My current goals are to have a successful season and regain another contract for a few more years. I’d like to hopefully one day work up to getting my chance at playing first grade,” Madden said.
However, he also takes his studies seriously and sacrifices many social opportunities to balance the work load between playing u20’s NRL and studying fulltime.
“I’d always wanted to go to university during high school, to give me a backup in case footy doesn’t work out. I am pretty serious about completing my course but it’s hard. I’m rarely able to go out with my friends during the week because of training,” Madden said.
Although Kye’s schedule is quite hectic throughout the week, he still finds the time to study and have fun with his mates.
“With four heavy morning sessions in the gym or out on the field, the last thing I feel like doing is going to class or going to a lecture but it’s something I have to do in order to finish my degree. I always feel it’s good to do things on weekends though, otherwise you get caught up in a cycle,” Madden said.
Although Canberra Raiders encourage all their athletes to pursue an education, Kye has never been forced to study at any institution. He shows the desire to better himself at every angle. Despite sacrificing a lot of his time to his studies and his football, Kye also somehow finds the time to work part-time. As a student in today’s society, the cost of living is very high, especially living on campus. Luckily, the club allows their players to work towards an education and participate in the workforce.
“In pre-season I was having four morning sessions and three to four afternoon sessions. Training is set out so we are able to work or study during the day which is really helpful,” Madden said.
The Thirlmere local jumped at the opportunity after being invited to play the game he loved in Canberra. Playing for the Raiders not only opened a new chapter in the pursuit of his dream, but also gave him the motivation to enrol in the course he’d always wanted to.
“UC is right near the training facilities and has links to the club so it seemed like the best place to study. It also was the only uni in the area which had the course I wanted to do [Bachelor of Medical Imaging and Radiography],” Madden said.
The spirited young athlete, now six rounds into his under 20’s competition, is giving everything he has to the game he aspires to play for the majority of his life. Kye Madden has given himself every single opportunity for greatness. One can only sit and respect the effort and level of maturity this young athlete is constantly displaying.