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Jack Goodhue meets his match

Born and raised in Northland, professional rugby player Jack Goodhue recalls how he learnt life’s important lessons from hanging out with his brothers and helping his Dad on the family farm. “I think back to how important it was having 3 brothers and a dad that spent so much time with us, whether it was at the rugby club or spending time with him working on the farm. It was that time spent together that taught me my values and how to work hard.”

He wants to pass on these values and skills to young people so they can reach their potential, as he is aware of how many young people do not have the childhood he did. Jack said Big Brothers Big Sisters was an easy way to make a difference for a young person. “We can all think of a sibling, a cousin, a teacher or a coach who helped them become who they are today.” So he became a Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor.

It’s been two years now and Jack says he’s looking forward to many more years together. “He’s starting high school next year. I’m keen to be there for him and I hope he can confide in me and perhaps ask for advice.”

“Even though it’s slow progress, it’s really rewarding to teach him some values that really helped me become the person I am today. This boy might hold on to some of these values, that might help him make some good decisions later on in life.”

He says he gets a buzz out of seeing his mentee’s spirits lift after having one on one time. Whether they have just got a ball and gone to the park and burnt a bit of energy and then have a hot chocolate or smoothie.

Jack is an ambassador for Big Brothers Big Sisters because it creates fun and natural relationships that help to give young people a gentle push. “I’ve always thought that if everyone does something small, a big difference can be made.”

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