Jack O’Rourke has been talking about sports for years, and recently he decided to start a charity that supports young people and supports them in their pursuit of the game.
Key points: Jack O`Rourke, the only child of Jack and Nancy, has started a sports charity to help his fellow young people, with a focus on young athletesThe idea came about after Jack, who was a member of the rugby league squad at his local school, visited the rugby union academy, where he met a young player, Ryan O’Connor, who he encouraged to follow in his footsteps.
“Ryan’s dad was a rugby league player and his mum was a soccer player, so I think that was the first time I ever met someone that was a football player,” Jack told ABC Radio Perth.
“It was a huge opportunity to really get involved in the sport of football and rugby union.”
And so I really thought it was time to give back and help young players get into sport.
“Jack is the only son of Jack O, a father of two and an avid rugby league and rugby league union player, and Nancy O’Kane, who is a soccer coach at the club level.”
When I was growing up, rugby league was the only sport that I played, so it was really nice to be able to play it,” Jack said.”
So I think the only thing I need to do is more, because I think rugby league is a lot of fun.
“There’s a lot more to it than just football and soccer.”
Jack said rugby league could be the sport he chooses to play at the next level.
He said rugby union was the sport that helped him realise his dream to be a sports commentator.
“I’m really passionate about sport, but I also really enjoy watching and learning about other sports, because they’re the best, I think, in the world,” Jack explained.
“Because the world is so full of sport, I really wanted to give the best sport I could.”
Jack’s goal is to raise money for young athletes who have made the big jump from their childhoods into sports, which is the same for rugby union players.
Jack said he was also hoping to raise awareness about the mental health issues young people face when they play sports.
“As a young athlete, if you don’t get to the next stage of your career and you’re having to deal with mental health, it’s going to be hard,” Jack noted.
“We need to start teaching kids, we need to educate parents, we should be encouraging young people to play sports and I think it’s really important that young people know that they have a huge impact on the world and their future.”
The only way we’re going to do that is to be as supportive as we can, and that’s what we’re doing.
“Jack was born and raised in Adelaide, where his father was a player in the AFL.”
Growing up, we had the best soccer team in the city, the best football team in Melbourne, the worst rugby union team in New South Wales,” Jack recalled.”
But we didn’t get the support we wanted in sport.
“My dad was in the Army, he had a hard life and I got a lot, but he made me realise that I could have a lot better.”
Jack, who has two younger brothers, started volunteering as a youth football coach at his school.
“He was the best teacher I’ve ever had and he’s the most supportive person I’ve had, because he taught me that life is short and don’t let life define you,” Jack, now 21, said.
Jack is also a member at the Rugby Union Association, and a former member of Rugby League Tasmania.
Jack’s passion for rugby league came about through watching videos of other players, and his brother Ryan, who also played rugby league.
“In football, it was the same, you were the one that was getting the ball first and he was getting on the line and scoring the points,” Jack added.
“Football taught me a lot about how to play the game and what to do, and the way you play the position.”
Jack started his first career in sport when he was 15, when he signed up for a sport that he believed in.
“Rugby league was a great opportunity for me to get into the sport I love, because it’s a sport I know, but rugby union has so much more to offer,” Jack O”Rourke said.
“Ribbets and tackle boxes and the like, rugby union is something I grew up loving, so for me that was great to get involved.”
Jack also has his own sports charity that he said he wanted to help other young people.
“For me, it is about giving back, and it’s about getting people to see what the sport can do for them, and to get their friends involved,” Jack wrote on his website