Sport

Tumata hopes overseas experience will pay off

LOFTY EXPECTATIONS: Kieren Tumata (right) collides with an opposition player during the Wildcats’ Sunbowl grand final win in November at Coorparoo. Photo: Scott Davis / Scott’s Shotz Photography
LOFTY EXPECTATIONS: Kieren Tumata (right) collides with an opposition player during the Wildcats’ Sunbowl grand final win in November at Coorparoo. Photo: Scott Davis / Scott’s Shotz Photography

THE odds might be stacked heavily against him, but that hasn’t deterred Rochedale’s Kieren Tumata from striving towards his dream of becoming the next big Aussie in America’s biggest football code.

The promising gridiron player is currently studying business at Butte College, California, where he hopes to score a scholarship to play on the college’s football side.

Tumata, who was also a talented rugby prop, was welcomed to the college by the school’s recruitment coach and is believed to be the first Australian in a dozen years to attend the college.

“I chose this college because I was offered a position in the football team and now, since the recent success of Aaron Rodgers (former student and Green Bay Superbowl-winning quarterback) positions at the school has become very competitive,” the 20-year-old said.

Tumata’s gridiron career has taken off since strapping on his helmet for the first time as a fresh-faced 15-year-old.

A member of Daisy Hill Wildcats’ 2010 Queensland Sunbowl championship, the 102kg, 178cm hardy runningback toured the States in 2008, participating in a rare gridiron camp, and went on to represent Australia against New Zealand in 2009.

Hungry for more success, Tumata vowed to one day return to the US and have a shot at becoming a professional gridiron player.

While it’s not a case of going for broke, Tumata has had to make some sacrifices.

Tumata, who is proud of his Maori heritage, has spent the last few years saving and studying hard so he could be accepted into an American college.

“I thought ‘why not give it a go?” the former Rochedale State School student explained.

“At some point I was going to study, buy a car and spend money, so why not spend it on an experience that will last a lifetime instead on material things?”

It’s refreshing to hear a young man speak like this, but there is another reason why Tumata is determined to make the most of his time overseas.

Tumata has had to deal with the pain of losing his cousin and close friend, who both took their own lives.

He uses the memory of them as a motivating force everyday to help achieve all he has set out to accomplish.

It’s a testament to his strong attitude and unwavering resilience, which is also evident on the field.

While adamant his pursuit for gridiron glory would not digress from his study, Tumata hopes his time at Butte College is not ephemeral as he attempts to score a gridiron scholarship later this year.

“I would like to graduate in some field of business for a start, but any sporting success that comes from being at college or in America is a bonus,” he said.

“My training over the last month has been intense.

“Team practice hasn’t started yet but I train solo and that allows me to push past thresholds and to train at 110 per cent.”

When asked about his hopes of making it into the NFL, Tumata was optimistic.

“It is all a possibility, nothing is beyond reach.”


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Man in custody after Woodridge lockdown

An exclusion zone has been established on Nyanza St, bounded by Mikaga Crt and Strathdarr St to Kurrajong St and Nydia St, Woodridge.

An emergency situation declared following reports of a disturbance

Raining, pouring: Wet roads to strike SEQ peak hour

Dusty Ford and Amy Blovask take cover as storms roll in.

Motorists told to drive to conditions

Major delays after truck and car collide

Traffic at Burpengary is still at a crawl.

Man taken to hospital with laceration

Local Partners

Lead poisoning fears: Plumber raided over contamination

AUTHORITIES have raided the home of Brett George Hogan, the plumber and electrician whose work may have delivered water contaminated with lead into homes.

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

What public holidays are left in 2017

Ipswich residents will get the day off tomorrow for the show.

IPSWICH residents will get tomorrow off for the show

Caitlyn comes home to launch debut album

Gympie's Caitlyn Shadbolt will launch here debut album Songs On My Sleeve at an exclusive all-ages concert in Gympie on Friday, May 26.

Win tickets to Caitlyn's album launch

Casual Keanu says fame is ‘cool’

NOBODY expected much of Keanu Reeves' action thriller John Wick when it was released in 2014.

19 dead, 59 injured after nail blast: Ariana Grande concert

There have been multiple confirmed deaths after 'explosions' heard at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester

"We saw blood on people when we got outside."

Ariana Grande breaks her silence after fatal blast

According to reports quoting witnesses, a mass emergency evacuation was prompted after explosions were heard at the end of US singer Ariana Grande's concert in the arena.

The entertainment industry is in shock after attack on concert

Pitch Perfect star suing Woman’s Day over ‘liar’ articles

Actor Rebel Wilson outside court on Friday.

REBEL Wilson's career destroyed by grubby campaign, court hears.

Seven Year Switch: The boner to end all boners

Johnny’s outraged over claims he has a cracked boner.

She gulps. Her face says it all.

Bay to star in Hollywood shark thriller ‘Cage Dive’

Cage Dive, written and directed by Gerald Rascionato, is now screening in the United States of America. It had scenes filmed in Hervey Bay.

And our visiting humpback whales also make appearance.

Celebrity sex tapes: Where does all that money go?

Basically, did Paris and Kim earn fortunes from their videos?

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

Deputy Premier makes massive call on controversial sand mine

Aerial view of the proposed Forest Glen sand mine.

BREAKING: State Government makes huge call on Coast sand mine plans

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!