By OLIVE SUKUN
GOLF legend, Tiger Woods says education is a priority over any sport because without a mind, one can’t contribute to society and rugby league star Bland Abavu is just beginning his journey.
“When I become a coach someday I want to be able to send all the boys in my team to pursue further education,” the PNG Hunters player said.
“I would not want them to just play sports or think that they can make a living out of sports.”
The 29-year-old has a diploma in accounting and recently graduated from the IEA College of Tafe with a diploma in business. “It’s in my best interest to support the disadvantaged youths and give them something they don’t have.”
Abavu, from Koiari, Central, is one of four brothers – all of whom play rugby league.
“I’ve always watched my big brother Josiah Abavu play rugby and watched his busy life travelling and figured I wanted to be like him,” he said.
Abavu started pursuing further education when he realised he needed to balance his sports life with education.
“I want to have a life after sport and education is my long term goal for my future.
“My father has always been the one stressing the importance of education in life and what we could achieve if we pursue it.”
Abavu said rugby was his hobby, a sport he started playing while attending high school at Port Moresby Grammar School. He played with the Port Moresby Rugby League’s Dobbo Warriors and made his debut in the Queensland Rugby League with the SP PNG Hunters in May, 2016.
Abavu said he had always enjoyed playing rugby but it was not the only thing he wanted to achieve in life.
“I want to be a role model for youths today who can see me and tell themselves that they can be successful both in sports and something that education can give.”
Abavu’s mother Susan, who was present at the graduation, said her son had always been different from his brothers.
“We advised him to study first and later play rugby but he wanted to do both at the same time,” Susan Abavu said.
“He is outgoing and likes to do his own things.
“There were times when he struggled to complete his assignments because rugby training but he made up for it by staying up late to get the work done.”
Abavu said his choices in accounting and business was so that he could one venture in business for himself.
His sees himself helping the disadvantaged youths with education through sports where he believes that no one is a failure because everyone is gifted in their own way.
By OLIVE SUKUN