While his teammates were having a big impact at the London Sevens on the weekend, Australian Men's Rugby Sevens star Dylan Pietsch was also making an impression late last week, but off the field.
A group of students from the UNSW Aspire Program headed into Rugby Australia to hear from Pietsch and RUPA Australian Rugby Sevens Player Development Manager (PDM) Anika Lalic.
Founded in 2007, the ASPIRE program targets schools that traditionally have low numbers of students pursuing higher education, and aims to reverse that trend. It encourages all students from an early age, to have an aspiration for their future; to dream big, set a goal and work to achieve it. Over 50 partner schools are spread across metropolitan Sydney and regional New South Wales, with many students coming from remote locations, indigenous, refugee and migrant communities, and families where nobody has ever been to University.
Dylan and Anika spoke to the students about the opportunities that arise from pursuing careers in professional sport, answering lots of questions about the different aspects of their very different jobs!
Dylan was able to speak about his background, including the fact he was the first person in his family to finish Year 12, as well as his experiences representing his country on the world stage, and dealing with the pressure of playing in front of big crowds!
Anika was able to speak about how she began working with athletes and their focuses away from sport, as well as the importance of prioritising player welfare and wellbeing, before they took the students on a tour of the Rugby Australia training facilities, where the Australian Men's and Women's Rugby Sevens teams are based.
Great work, Dylan and Anika!