A first grade career in the Australian Football League (AFL) is amazing. But as Carlton’s Hugh Goddard realised, you have to have a backup plan.
An insurance policy for the future. Whether it is through injury or restructuring of a playing group, a person can find themselves without work at almost any moment.
Hugh first heard about the Trade Institute of Victoria (TIV) through Sam Gilbert at the St Kilda club. At the time TIV was just beginning what would turn out to be a long standing association with AFL players. Hugh built up some knowledge about the courses that TIV offered but says:
“At that stage, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do so I didn’t take that path. But I guess since moving to Carlton and then having the experience of no longer being on the list, I knew it was really important to build my knowledge and you know, prepare myself for life after footy.”
Choosing a TIV Course
Like many players before him, Hugh decided this “insurance policy” for life after footy would be a TIV course. He recently completed his Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) and was looking at doing his Certificate III in Carpentry before COVID hit and teams went into hubs.
He says that “building and probably development and that side of things have always been a really big passion of mine. TIV has given me that opportunity.” Apart from the hands on aspect of the course, Hugh has appreciated the knowledge gained from the diploma. “The Diploma in Building and Construction is more to do with the (building) plans and the legalities of an actual build,” he explains. Hugh feels prepared in terms of what to expect and what requirements need to be met so that one day he can oversee his own property development.
What sets TIV apart from other trade schools?
The flexibility and support of TIV and its instructors makes this the first trade school of choice for professional athletes and in particular, AFL players.
Hugh acknowledges that both instructors and administrative staff “have been awesome in terms of supporting us. Sometimes we may have an injury or something like that and we can’t make a class. But they always follow up and are there for our support.”
TIV was also able to pivot quickly and move courses to a virtual classroom when COVID hit.
Face to Face Learning v The Virtual Classroom
Hugh completed half of his Diploma through face to face learning and the other half through the “new norm” of a virtual classroom.
For Hugh it was a seamless transition. And while he believes “it’s always good to have a bit of a balance” between the two forms of learning, he quite enjoyed studying from home. One big advantage for him was that it cut down travelling time. So he was able to get homework done in a more relaxed setting.
The Positives of COVID Life
While COVID has turned life upside down for all of us, Hugh chooses to focus on the positives. While being in isolation was “really weird”, it gave him an opportunity to spend time with his girlfriend and both their families – something he doesn’t often get to do because of his playing and travelling schedule.
He also credits the calibre of fellow players and his little brother for keeping him motivated. Hugh says, “I think that’s what makes and breaks good teams – the ability to train while away from the group and I think that’s what we did really well at Carlton.”
Hugh’s younger brother also pushed him and made sure he didn’t slacken off. “I was lucky to have my little brother who has just finished school. He’s a lot fitter than me so he was pushing me along which is good. It was good to have a training partner. We kept each other fit.”
Currently in a hub in Queensland and preparing for a very busy schedule of games, Hugh believes “there’s no point in complaining”. His advice: “Use the time wisely. Just sit and relax and reflect.”