MP ‘proud’ of Pocock

Education, Sport, Arts and Culture Minister David Coltart has congratulated Zimbabwean-born Qantas Wallabies and Western Force flanker, David Pocock, for being named Western Australia’s Young Australian of The Year.

David Pocock on the field.
David Pocock on the field.

The Gweru-born 23-year-old was named Western Australia’s Young Australian of the Year at a ceremony at Government House in Perth on Saturday evening. In an interview at Kwekwe Sports Club on Monday, Coltart said Pocock had made the country proud.

“He might not be playing for Zimbabwe, but the fact that he is Zimbabwe-born makes us proud as it displays the potential our children have in rising to the top. This should go a long way in encouraging aspiring sports persons that they can make it at the top as long as they remain focused and hungry for success.”

Pocock was one of four finalists in the state’s Young Australian category and was acknowledged for his extraordinary achievements on and off the rugby field.

The star is an inaugural Western Force player who made his Super Rugby debut as a teenager and quickly established himself as a vital member of the West Australian side. He progressed into international ranks in 2008 and won the 2010 John Eales Medal as the best performing Wallaby. In the past two years he has been among elite company as a nominee for the International Rugby Board Player of the Year.

In a short period of time, the 23-year-old has not only made an immense impact on the rugby field, but his humanitarian efforts have brought hope to disadvantaged communities in Zimbabwe.

In 2009, Pocock established the charity EightyTwenty Vision, alongside close friend Luke O’Keefe. He has worked tirelessly to raise funds for projects focusing on health care for HIV and Aids sufferers, education for children, food and water security, and human rights. He regularly travels to Africa to assist in projects and ensure they’re delivering real outcomes.

“It is a great honour to be recognised in such a way especially given the calibre of young West Australians who were nominated this year, all of whom are doing wonderful work in their own fields,” Pocock said.

Pocock is now in contention alongside other Young Australian category winners from across the country for the National Award which will be presented on January 25, 2012 in Canberra.

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