Sharks coach inspires QAHS students “Be who you really are and follow your passions.”

There were two main pieces of advice that Matthew Angus, head coach of the Southport Sharks AFL Football Club, offered to the students who attended the final Leadership Breakfast of 2014.

The breakfast, which was held on the 20 August, proved to be a success with students and staff attending for both the messages and the good food!

Mr Angus began his address by playing ‘Love Changes Everything’ from The Phantom of the Opera, which seemed like an unusual opening coming from a sports coach. He said that this song had been a favourite of his grandmother and went on to say that the song became his own favourite, but he  experienced difficulty in high school to fully and openly enjoy his love for folk and opera music, in the presence his friends. He felt the need to hide something that was dear and special to him; the need to hide who he really was. This was the first lesson that we were taught: Be who you really are. Be you.

Mr Angus then continued to speak of his life and the pivotal moments and decisions that had brought him to the person he was today. He talked of the car crash he had at age 23 that forced him to move back home to his parents’ house, a frustrating situation, however, he showed that it was also this incident that lead him to become the coach of an under 14’s football team. His involvement in this team proved to be a life changing experience, as he came to fully understand his passion and purpose which was to encourage others to achieve their goals and to reach their potential, whilst simultaneously setting a foundation of positive emotional development as well as creating a strong support group between the players.

LEAD BREKKIEIMG_6587Here we were given the second slice of advice which was to: Follow your passion and pursue it with great resolve.

Mr Angus emphasised the need for a caring and connected community. He explained that he had come to this conclusion after many years of working in an industry which relied heavily on team work. This he said, however, should be applied to all facets of our lives, from the student we are at school to the sister or brother we are at home.

Additionally, students were spoken to about the struggle and pain that comes with disappointment. Mr Angus used stories from his football experiences (which showed uncanny parallels to school endeavours) to describe how, if one looks too far into the future or focusses too intently on the past, we can easily lose our footing within the present.

Finally, students were encouraged and commended for their courage in following their passions of learning and the undertaking of the pursuit of knowledge.

The students of QAHS as well as the staff whom attended, sincerely enjoyed the breakfast, and are thankful for Matthew Angus’ time in sharing some of his words of wisdom.

Ciaran Bruce
Year 11