Schooling is Key : Petero

HE had a dream career as a professional rugby league player that lasted 15 season in the world’s best competition, but Petero Civoniceva is adamant education will always be the foundation for a successful future.
The Queensland and Kangaroos legend spoke to students at the Coronation Primary School in Port Moresby on the second day of his six-day visit.
He may have retired last year after having won nine Origin series (1998, 2001, 2006-2012) and two NRL premierships (1998 and 2006), but the Fijian-born Redcliffe man is here as an ambassador of Nambawan Trophy Haus, but he still has a heart for rugby league.
Petero prays his greatest contribution to the game will not be as a result of hurling his 193cm, 116kg frame around the field but rather as an inspiration, educating young people about life, and it starts with good education. 
Education is a rock where the foundation of a good life starts, and this was the message from his heart when addressing the Coronation students to start his hectic schedule of launches and promotions in Port Moresby and Lae. 
In his campaign against school violence which has been an issue in Lae and Port Moresby in recent times, Civoniceva wanted to draw from his record as one of the “cleanest and nicest guys” in rugby league.
The message was that you can be a tough competitor but also one that opponents will respect as a player and a person, something which he was renowned for in the NRL.    
He said the report on deaths of students in Lae as reported in the media hurt him more than any of the knocks he took in 309 first grade games and 33 Origin starts.
He said that education was crucial for a good life, and more important than rugby league.
The 37-year-old urged the students to do their best in school – stressing that education is “the rock you must build your future on”.
Civoniceva told the students that education was a privilege that their parents worked hard to give them. 
He asked the students to go home, and show their grattitude to their mothers and fathers by giving them a big hug and thanking them. 
The former Brisbane Broncos  and Penrith Panthers prop forward reminded the students to take education seriously even if they had the talent to play and represent the country in sport – education makes a career. 
He asked the students to respect  each other and respect those from other schools. 
After delivering his speech, Petero officially opened the NWTL- funded refurbished school library, and then later conducted a brief coaching session for the school’s rugby league teams.

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