Dell doing it for the kids - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dell doing it for the kids

By Adrian Warren. 02/09/2009 07:53:30 PM Comments (0)

Charismatic St George-Illawarra NRL winger Wendell Sailor believes his transformation from a player vilified for a drug related suspension to one nominated for a community award is an example to younger players who make mistakes.

Sailor spent two years in the sporting wilderness after he tested positive to cocaine following a Super 14 rugby match between his NSW team and the Brumbies in April 2006.

His sporting career was revived last year by the Dragons and the 35 year-old veteran has continued to light up the game with his on field deeds and colourful off field comments.

Another indicator of the remarkable rehabilitation his career and reputation have undergone is the news that the Dragons have nominated him as their contender for the prestigious annual Ken Stephen medal, which rewards the NRL player making the most outstanding contribution to the community.

Sailor said he was both flattered and humbled by his nomination for the medal, though he didn't expect to win.

In a season where rugby league has earned as many headlines for the poor off field behaviour of its players as its outstanding on field entertainment, Sailor believes young players who get into trouble could learn from his experiences.

"When you have things written about you in those two years off, it just makes you sick in the guts because you know you are not that sort of person, but you've made mistakes," Sailor told reporters on Wednesday.

"I just think I showed a lot of people that you can come back from stuff like that and people that write you off.

"But more importantly it's the kids that realise if they make mistakes you can rectify it, with the right things in place, the right people, the right attitude."

He paid tribute to the support he had received from several people, including NRL chief executive officer David Gallop and Dragons coach Wayne Bennett.

While not everyone agrees footballers should be role models, Sailor believed they do fit into that category.

"We're not just football heroes, we are ambassadors and role models," Sailor said.

"Even this year a few players have got into trouble, and that happens, but a lot of players have done a lot of great stuff.

"As much as some players don't want to be (role models) that's the message I give a lot of young footballers aspiring to be at this level.

"You can't just have big pay cheques and the big crowds, you've got to be involved in the community and also you've got to behave pretty well."

Sailor said he wasn't "the most perfect role model" and had experienced a lot of highs and lows in a "colourful career".

"But at the same time if you work at it yourself, you can certainly come back and do the right things.

"2006 for me was probably the only year that I would like to delete out of my very entertaining career."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news