Does compassion exist within the NRL?


– Hi, I’m Michael from
Compassionate Nomad. Today I’m speaking with Sydney Roosters and Fiji International rugby
league player, Eloni Vunakece. Can you tell us a bit about
your Rugby League career and where you’re at now? – Rugby league for me, I
was yeah, pretty long. I started when I was six. Ended, oh, two weeks ago, I think it was. My father was a rugby union player, so I wanna follow in his footsteps. Being Fijian, we’re sort of basically born with a rugby ball in our
hands, so that’s what we do. – So, as a player who’s had
a long and successful career, can you name a couple of
highlights that stand out to you? – We had a premiership
at the Sydney Roosters. Being in that squad was amazing. I got to play footy at Wembley Stadium, where, the same place where
Freddie Mercury played in front of a hundred
thousand people at Live Aid. Little things like that,
you get to pinch yourself and say, how did this happen to me? – Who are some of your
idols that you look up to, both on and off the field? – So I guess I got my folks. My mom, my dad and my step-dad. So my step-dad is a quadriplegic, he broke his neck snowboarding. Like, he used to run marathons
and he was fit as all back in the day, before
he had his accident. Anyone to go through, sort
of, what he’s been through and still have the outlook
on life that he does is pretty strong character. – So, if you had any advice
for any of your fans, what advice would you give them, in terms of how they can live their life and become a better person? – Hard work is one. It’s never easy. Work on your weaknesses. Find whatever you’re passionate
about and then have fun. Education is super important, wrap it up around your passion, and then just relentlessly chase it. – Can you share with us now what the next phase of
your life will hold? – I’ve sort of been approached by my mate who’s coaching at a rugby league club. One of the lower grades,
so it’s a good entry level for me to pursue a bit of a coaching career. I feel I have a duty to
the game, to give back. An eye-opening part to me of the game, was because it’s so ego-driven,
a lot of players tend to hold their cards close to their chest, but I was lucky enough to
play with another guy named Mark O’Mealy, and he just, he showed me something
I hadn’t seen before. He’s a guy who played for Australia, done everything you could do in an elite, one of the toughest sports in the world, yet would happily try and coach me and teach me little things
to make me a better player. The game needs more of it, the world needs more of it. Just lifting others up,
making them better players. – So at Compassionate Nomad,
our vision is to create a culture of compassion and kindness. Why do you think this is important? – Imagine every time you’re down, imagine if someone just stuck a hand out and tried to help you up and drag you out. And if we’re constantly
doing that to each other, we’ll probably be in
a way better situation than what the world is now. So, in terms of potential, I think there’s plenty sitting there. But, having to tap into it, I guess essentially is just try to be the change you
want to see in the world. – If you want to find out
more about our programs and how you can help us create a culture of compassion and kindness,
check out our Instagram which is @compassionatenomad.

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