Former Atherton local and Brisbane Broncos
junior player Aaron Rockley is a young man looking to build a big future for himself both on and off field.
While many aspiring Rugby League players are thinking about the next game, Aaron has long term career aspirations beyond the world of football.
He started a carpentry apprenticeship in Grade 10 and is now working as a qualified carpenter for a Brisbane builder while training with the Broncos and playing for the Wynnum Seagulls first grade team on the weekends.
His schedule keeps him very busy, with some of his days starting at 5:00 and finishing at 8:30pm
Last year he was recognised for his outstanding efforts as the inaugural NRL Tradesmen of the Year.
Aaron said his passion for carpentry rivals his love of football.
“I’m really enjoying working as a carpenter and feel like I am learning something new every day.
“It’s a really challenging career which tests your ability to be creative and also your technical knowledge of building and materials,” he said.
Aaron added that he sees opportunities to use his carpentry skills as an investor.
“A lot of footballers like to invest in property during their careers and I’d like to down this path if I become a regular first grade player.
“Having a carpentry background could really help me in this area as I would have the skills to renovate properties and even become involved in developments.
“After I retire from football I would love to be able work full time as a carpenter and further down the track have my own business.
“It’s also great to know that if I ever have a serious injury, I will be able to work in carpentry and still have a good career,” he said.
The Brisbane Broncos have recently begun a program with Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) which will help junior players at the club to get started in the construction industry.
Through the initiative, players and parents will be able gain advice and guidance from the CSQ team about different career pathways and training.
CSQ CEO Brett Schimming said building and construction workers had many different opportunities to leverage their skills.
“Undertaking a trade such as carpentry opens up a whole world of opportunities.
“You can build your own home, renovate a property, be part of a property development or become a project manager,” he said.
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