Col Purcell scholarship helps Woods balance work, studies

RUGBY LEAGUE 

Even if it cuts back just a few shifts at the chocolate shop in town or prevents him mowing the local pub's lawns so often, Brendan Woods thinks the Col Purcell Centenary Scholarship will have done its job.

The Illawarra junior and Wests player was named as the second recipient of the scholarship on Friday, following in the footsteps of inaugural winner Zac Baker.

Designed to help a first-year undergraduate student at the University of Wollongong cover study expenses, it was the brainchild of the Illawarra Junior Rugby League centenary committee. The scholarship is named after the late life member and dedicated administrator in the region.

"I'm doing a few things to pick up some money, but have been focusing on my study and footy at the moment," the 18-year-old Woods said.

"It's good for people in the Illawarra and especially those that play league. It kind of gives them the option not to choose between study and football. It helps them keep the balance between the two and not have to sacrifice one for the other.

"The money's definitely going to help me and in the future lighten work a little bit. I'll drop a few shifts to pick up the study patterns a little bit better."

Illawarra junior rugby league player Brendan Woods, (second from left) who has been awarded this year's Col Purcell scholarship. He's pictured with the University of Wollongong's Renee Burton and Monique Harper-Richardson as well as Illawarra Junior Rugby League centenary committee chairman Bob Millward. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Illawarra junior rugby league player Brendan Woods, (second from left) who has been awarded this year's Col Purcell scholarship. He's pictured with the University of Wollongong's Renee Burton and Monique Harper-Richardson as well as Illawarra Junior Rugby League centenary committee chairman Bob Millward. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Woods is a graduate of Illawarra's famed rugby league nursery, representing the region in several under-age squads and graduating from the SG Ball nursery this season.

His father Peter and grandfather Fred also played for Wests, a task he is all too happy to keep doing while studying exercise science and rehabilitation.

"It was a pretty easy decision to pick Wests and I love the club and I've stayed put since I've been there," Woods said.

University of Wollongong's director of advancement Monique Harper-Richardson said the scholarship was fantastic for young players in the region trying to further their education.

"This scholarship will not only help young rugby league players in their first year of study, it gives them a wonderful foundation from which to prepare for a career after football," she said.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop