Well what can I say. I am used to writing words to describe sporting experiences but this is hard. It is personal and it’s emotional.
Before I left Australia to come to Greece I knew that I wanted to be a part of the community and be involved with something worthwhile and I have always believed that sport is the perfect vehicle for that.
From the moment I was invited into the rugby communities in Greece I knew that there was something special going on and I wanted in.
From helping out with the Panathinaikos women’s rugby team to coaching the Aris Eagles men’s team, the Athens representative teams and finally as head coach of the first Greek women’s national rugby league side I have seen nothing but enthusiasm, passion and a willingness to play the game in the right spirit for all the best reasons.
The family style community that exists should be bottled and sent around the world.
I have so much unfinished business with the Aris Eagles and the Greek women’s national side but I feel secure in the knowledge that the teams are in good hands.
The coaching trips to Belgrade, Sofia and Edirne will remain sweet memories for life.
I don’t have words to describe the honour and pleasure I received from our coaching group taking a Greek national women’s team from almost zero knowledge and experience to be competitive in an international match. This is the start of big things for women’s rugby league in Greece.
Women’s sport has always been special for me from the time my two daughters started participating, working with the Australian Institute of Sport, and then coaching here in Greece.
I can only hope I have left a tiny legacy for the future.
I really do believe both sports can prosper and be successful in a harmonious environment.
My one note of caution is that sport should always be about the players first and foremost along with the coaches, administrators and volunteers.
Ego, power struggles and greed have no place in our codes and will only serve to bring them down.
The overwhelming majority of people have the interest of the sport at heart and want to see a successful environment where players can enjoy matches and the wonderful experiences they offer.
There are way too many people to thank for their help, support and friendship during my time in Greece but you all know who you are.
aευχαριστίες και αντίο μέχρι την επόμενη φορά