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..Huddled between the pushing and pulling of the stationary school line stood what looked like your typical High School student. At first glance I thought nothing more of him than your typical everyday guy. Sure he may have stood a little shorter than the rest, but that as you will find out is not the appealing thing about him.
Standing behind Rob in the stationary line we actually got to started talking. My first impressions of him was were his friendly attitude, positive outlook and free spirited nature. Despite not knowing any of the students in his year Rob still has his chin up and a smile on his face. Unlike many people he was not phased by his first day at Havelock North High School. "It's just another day” he said.
After a few weeks of getting to know Rob, I was starting to learn there was a different side to him. Behind the boyish looks and friendly personality was a determined, aggressive, daring side. This side of Rob was generally found on the sporting field. The mind set of Rob on the sporting field is the total reverse of what he is like off it. When you look out As you look, that innocent tyke is gone. Instead you see someone with a tenacious and fierce determination to win. He describes this tenacity as a “hunger” to do the best he possibly can.
Experts say there is more to a top sportsman than determination, will power and hard work. They believe there is a certain X-Factor about them and the best of the best are born, not made. There is no doubt in my mind Rob has what is described as the X-Factor. Despite being small in stature, he is still a power house on the sporting field. Whether it be tennis, hockey, rugby or running, he does it all and he does it well.
Although Rob doesn’t like to brag or even talk about his achievements, he is someone who has achieved so much in such a short period of time. A few honourable mentions would be his appearance in the Under-Sixteen national tennis championship, Hawkes Bay Under-Eighteen tennis champion and record breaking runs in the Havelock North High School 800M and 1500M finals. I asked Rob what he put his success down to and all he had to say was “I just live my life one day at a time”.
Despite what I said about Rob being somewhat modest, there is one story he never forgets to tell. It took place down in Dunedin at the Under-Sixteen national hockey tournament. Although his team was not in the final, it was still their last game, playing for ninth or tenth. They were not playing for the position they had hoped for but it was important they left on a high note. The game itself was being played against Nelson and set off at a ferocious pace. Both teams were able to slot a quick goal each and from the outset it looked like it was going to the wire. Rob was playing at his usual standard, dodging every player in sight and using his explosive pace to set up countless opportunities. This however came to an end when a Nelson striker sent a thunderous drag flick along the ground straight into Rob’s toe.
Resilient as ever he tried to play on but his coach sensed his pain and pulled him from the field. His tournament was over but his team were still to play on and, as predicted, the game came down to the final few minutes. The Nelson defence had held strong all game, equally matched by Hawkes Bays. Both teams were going into the final two minutes at a goal a piece each. The Hawkes Bay coach made a brave move and bought back to the field his broken-toed winger. Staggering around the field in quite obvious pain, Rob was still playing at no less than 110 per cent. Finally he received the ball in space and, as the clock counted down, he decided to take a chance. He swerved his way through the Nelson defence before winding up an amazing drag flick. The ball sailed into the back of the net as the buzzer sounded. Hawkes Bay jumped in excitement as they ran to carry off their injured hero.
My point is Rob has the ability to go far in any sport. He’s not limited by his size and he can take a hit. His “never say never” attitude and unrivalled determination allows him to perform at his peak. As Rob glances over to see me writing this, all he has to say is “Bro, that better not be about me”.
Mainly check for run on sentences, use of commas, obvious grammer mistakes, use of their/there thanks :)
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