A Rockingham sports teacher who created a successful fundraising initiative and champions a rugby league program has taken out a national award.
Rockingham Senior High School health and physical education teacher Isaac Thomas won the 2022 Australian Sports Father of The Year award as part of the Australian Fathering Awards.
The awards celebrate and acknowledge the vital role fathers play within families and in the wider community.
Mr Thomas, a father of five young women, is an inspiring teacher who was nominated for his work with the annual Rockingham Senior High School Tryathon.
Now in its tenth year, Tryathon raises money for Telethon and encourages students to help those facing challenges while instilling a strong sense of school community spirit.
This year, the school is aiming to bring its total fundraising efforts past the $400,000 mark.
Mr Thomas is passionate about making a difference. He also teaches life skills such as leadership, teamwork and fairness alongside sporting skills as part of the school’s Rugby League Academy.
Mr Thomas said he felt incredibly humbled and privileged to receive the award.
“I never in a million years thought I might actually be a finalist let alone a winner of this amazing honour,” he said.
“As a teacher, I feel that teaching my students service to others is one of the most important life skills I can leave them with.
“If they can learn to raise money for a charity, and especially for those in need more than themselves, then they can practice compassion and empathy; two traits that teenagers often don't have enormous opportunities to demonstrate without a slight nudge.
“Telethon is an incredible national icon that has touched all of us West Australians in some way in the past. Anything that can be done to help them is a good thing.”
Mr Thomas said he hoped the award inspired his students to help others.
“I want them to see that I don't just talk the talk, and I think they feel that,” he said.