League star tackles school values

Ahead of tomorrow’s State of Origin, Harry Grant won over fans for the Maroons when he ‘dropped in’ to Kempsey South. Kristi Pritchard-Owens reports.

Harry Grant talks to students at South Kempsey Public School about their new school values.

Students at Kempsey South Public School have learned they have values in common with one of the National Rugby League’s best.

Melbourne Storm star and Maroons hooker Harry Grant dropped in via a video link to support the school’s new values - Respectful, Resilient and Ready to Learn.

“Personally I know myself, they’re three things that I try and take with me every day and try and live by,” the 24-year-old said in the video to students.

“And I know everyone here at the Melbourne Storm really try and value those three things.”

The encouragement was played to students as a surprise during the school’s Monday morning weekly welcome video.

“Initially we were only going to run it in the classroom, but the reaction was so positive, I thought I’ll pop it out on our Facebook where it’s got lots of shares,” principal Paul Byrne said.

“The community has responded really well.”

Mr Byrne has known Harry Grant’s extended family – some of whom live in nearby Port Macquarie – for some time.

“His extended family are salt of the earth-type people who keep him grounded and emphasised the importance of giving back,” Mr Byrne said.

“He jumped at the chance.”

And in a community where those who play for the Maroons are very highly regarded (thanks to Kempsey-born legend Greg Inglis), the two-minute video has made an impression.

Just a couple of weeks since the message was played, the principal is seeing a small, but noticeable shift in attendance, which was another key message the rugby league player made sure to mention.

“I’ve been talking to my good mate Mr Byrne, he tells me COVID has been very, very challenging the last couple of years, so I just wanted to encourage everyone to try to get to school,” Grant said.

“School attendance is a huge thing.”

The big question is though, will there be a sequel – and could it be delivered in person?

“He did say we might be able to see what can be arranged in the off-season,” the Mr Byrne said.

Looks like students will have to keep coming to school to find out.

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