From Tigerland to the UK

Ben Kearns, a Richmond Institute graduate, has packed his bags and moved to the UK at just 20 years old to work for AFL Europe.

He has also scored a full-time role at an all-ages school full-time in their sports and education department.

Ben believes that the coursework in the Diploma of Sport/ Diploma of Leadership and Management (SIS50321/BSB50420) helped provide a strong foundation for him to network with new industry professionals and equipped him with practical knowledge that enabled him to embrace and gain new opportunities.

“Completing the dual diploma course gave me so many opportunities to make new industry connections and it opened my eyes up to many different career paths,”

“I gained so much work-related knowledge that has set me up really well professionally, and it gave me the confidence to embrace new opportunities I wouldn’t have undertaken otherwise.” Ben said of the course.

At Wells Cathedral School, where pupils aged 2-18 attend, Ben works full-time as a sports assistant.

No two days look the same for him.

“The truth is, there is no normal day,”

“Given it is summer here at the moment, my mornings begin with teaching kids aged 4-6 swimming.

The morning is usually rounded up with assisting the 7-9’s in cricket training before coaching the year 3-6’s in a cricket fixture against another school.”

However, in the colder months this will look different for Ben.

“In the winter we teach Hockey, Rugby and Netball instead,”

“So, there is a lot of different sports to coach and teach.” Ben said of his schedule.

In addition to his responsibilities as a teacher and assistant, Ben finds the time to help in the planning and organisation of AFL games in Bristol, where he also assists with training and coaching.

“The most rewarding part of my job is getting to be involved with teaching and organising AFL here in Europe,”

“For many people it’s a new sport and creates a lot of excitement, especially with young adults and kids,” he said.

“To be able to introduce the sport I love and share my knowledge of the game is so rewarding. It has reminded me why this game is so important to so many people.”

Ben’s path has seen him be fortunate enough to be involved with the Richmond Football Club since the age of 15.

“The morals and ethical values I gained from the club is something I have carried with me here to the UK.”

When Ben looks back on his time in the club, he acknowledges a particular mentor who was instrumental in providing to him valuable information and support that shaped who he is today.

“My mentor at Richmond, Oliver Grant, imparted me with so much knowledge and wisdom which has helped shape the individual I am today.”

Ben attributes his experiences at Richmond Institute and at the Richmond Football Club with preparing him well for his current positions.

His stay at the club has had a lasting influence on him.

“I was able to be thrusted into responsibility and learn the professional standards of working in elite sport.”

Despite his busy schedule and the nine-hour time difference between Australia and the UK, Ben continues to watch the current AFL season.

“I often wake up around 2am to watch Richmond play each week. I am way too passionate about the game, not even the time difference can stop me.”  

Ben’s time at Richmond Institute and his involvement within the Richmond Football Club are credited for his success today.

“I owe my career to Richmond Institute and the Richmond Football Club” he said.

This article was written by Laura, a current Diploma of Sport/Diploma of Leadership and Management (SIS50321/BSB50420) student studying in collaboration with Swinburne University of Technology and the Richmond Football Club.

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