Devoted nib Newcastle Knights fan Travis Lockwood had aspirations of one day becoming a childcare worker but through the NRL School to Work (S2W) program, he got the chance to experience a number of opportunities, one of those being the Air Force.
 
The 17-year-old attended Callaghan College where he completed his HSC and was accepted into the Defence Force.
 
“It has given me a lot of different opportunities that I would have never experienced,” said Travis.
 
“It gave me the drive and determination to complete my HSC and changed my attitude to work towards better things.”
 
The NRL’s School to Work program provides young indigenous Australians with work experience, mentoring and leadership opportunities to ensure they successfully complete school and transition into further study, training or meaningful employment.
 
The program is a combined initiative of NRL clubs, including the Knights, the Australian Government’s Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the National Rugby League. It utilises the positive profile of the game of rugby league to support and encourage indigenous Australians to stay in school, get a job and be a legend for themselves, their families and their communities.
 
“It’s an awesome program and to have my favourite team supporting it, is even better,” commented Travis.
 
“It’s given me the chance to gain qualifications and training opportunities and the support has been amazing.”
 
As a student who was a bit overweight, Travis’ biggest fear was the fitness testing and overall fitness aspect when he was accepted into the Defence Force, but hard work, dedication and determination has seen the teenager thrive.
 
After joining a local boxing gym and training really hard, Travis was able to achieve his fitness goals. He even took part in an exhibition boxing bout in December last year, something he’s very proud of.
 
“I didn’t ever expect to be here where I am now,” admitted Travis.
 
“Being in the Air Force is a lot different to being a childcare worker, and it’s helped my health and fitness a lot, which is unreal.”
 
Set to be busy achieving his many goals in 2018, Travis, who is currently away at Wagga Wagga for an 80-day camp with the Defence Force, said without a doubt he’ll have time to follow his beloved Knights this season.
 
“I am very excited with the new look team,” he added.
 
“There’s some good players that have come to the Club, so hopefully we can make the finals.
 
“Hopefully I can make it to most games.”
 
For more information on the NRL’s S2W program, please visit HERE.