He’s played in front of thousands of fans at some of the biggest stadiums in the country, but fronting a crowd of approximately 80 Year 5 Students is a different kettle of fish for SUNS leader Noah Anderson.
Anderson spoke alongside SUNS teammate Connor Budarick at a leadership presentation at Trinity College in Ashmore. In a Q&A-style session to celebrate the end of their Play to Your Strengths program, the students have come prepared with well researched questions.
Having turned just 22 in February, Anderson isn’t long out of school himself, though the way he speaks you wouldn’t know. Articulate and precise, you’d be excused for thinking he was a seasoned veteran.
Anderson and his SUNS AFL & AFLW colleagues are the heroes of the SUNS In Schools education program Play To Your Strengths, a digital platform that focuses on growth mind-set, goal setting, wellbeing and leadership; attributes that embody his personality.
Just like the SUNS players, Trinity students have completed a character strengths survey as part of the program. Through self-assessments and reflection activities, they each identified one of 24 strengths that resonate most with them as an individual.
For Ben King it’s honesty, Sam Flanders, gratitude, and Jack Lukosius, humility. While AFLW players Tara Bohanna lists fairness, Charlie Rowbottom perseverance and Lauren Bella perspective.
Anderson lists his personal character strength as hope.
Despite his success, he remains humble, stating in the Play To Your Strengths curriculum resource, "I have hope for the future and am optimistic, but I try not to get lost within the expectations that are placed on me.
“I believe in my actions and feel confident things will turn out well. This relates to training and bettering myself on the football field as well as improving myself as a person off it.”
In a session that would have had close to 50 questions, Anderson and Budarick covered a breadth of topics, ranging from giving and receiving feedback to overcoming adversity, setting routines and having a positive mindset.
Towards the end of the session a student raised his hand and asked the players what makes a good leader.
Anderson pauses and responds, “we have three values at the club. They are selfless, ruthless and connected.
“As a player, and a person, if you tick off those three boxes then you’re being a great leader and a great person.”
While the stats sheet and ever-growing highlights reel may confirm he is a great player, the session proved to all in attendance that he is also the latter, a great leader and a great person.
For further enquiries about the Play to Your Strengths program or any of the SUNS In Schools programs, contact the club at email@example.com.