Matt Ballin set for life after footy as injury bites
MAY 25, 2017 5:51PM
SERIOUS knee injuries have limited Wests Tigers hooker Matt Ballin to just 63 minutes of game time in the last two years. But even as his body fails, the NRL veteran is well set up for life after football.
The former Queensland Origin rake is a qualified school teacher and also runs a personal training business.
Gaining qualifications outside of footy is now an essential part of playing for any club, even at Holden Cup level, under the “no work, no play” policy. Players who aren’t involved in education or work outside of footy are ineligible for team selection. However, this is a new concept and certainly wasn’t a policy back when Ballin started his NRL career in 2007, with for former Manly premiership winner taking it upon himself to earn qualifications.
“I’ve gone and educated myself, I’m a high school teacher,” Ballin said. “It took me 12 years to do a four-year degree so I can’t see why other people can’t do it.” Ballin played 2017 games for the Manly Sea Eagles, but has only managed only three games since signing with the Tigers due a succession of injuries, including two ACL tears. “Having that piece of paper allows you to seize a range of career paths,” Ballin said. “Gaining my certificate ensured I had the necessary skills to undertake further study and to start my own business in the fitness industry.”