High-level athletes usually don't play sports for the accolades, but 18-year-old Jack Cole is proud to have received the Olympic Chance Maker award.
It's an award given to students who demonstrate the Olympic spirit through friendship, sportsmanship and striving for excellence both on and off the playing grounds.
The Orange High School rugby league gun was nominated earlier in the year, and officially received confirmation he'd be receiving it last week, much to his delight.
"I knew I was nominated for it but I just assumed I wasn't going to get it," he said.
"It's pretty cool to get recognised for all of the things associated with the award.
"It feels good. I never aimed to get it, but it's nice."
Not only is Cole making waves for Orange CYMS under-18s and Orange Thunder touch football, he's part of Penrith Panthers' program and looks set to move to the foot of the mountains closer to the end of the year.
Cole also volunteered to coach Thunder's under-10s representative side, something that he knows would have had a positive impact on the youngsters.
"You do see them look up to you when you're coaching them," he said.
"It makes a pretty big impact and makes you want to be a good role model."
Cole is amid his final year at high school, juggling HSC trials with two casual jobs, unloading packages at Aramex and serving up ice cream at Spilt Milk Bar.
The move to Penrith is set to be a great experience for the playmaker, and he hopes to learn a lot throughout the pre-season before playing for the under-21s, and beyond.
"It would be cool to have an NRL pre-season," he said.
"They're also looking to get me a teacher's aid role down there."
Cole's leaving his options open, but hopes to make as much progression up the Panthers ranks as he can, with an NRL shot being the end goal. He'll spend pre-season training with fellow Western products Issah Yeo and Charlie Staines.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
HAVE YOUR SAY
- Send us a letter to the editor using the form below ...