Cody Walker Junior Sportsperson of the Month for July
NO ONE, not even humble giant Cody Walker himself, expected his name to appear on the Australian Schoolboys Rugby Union team sheet.
As a member of the NSW All Schools 2nd XV, the loose head prop was hoping for Australian Barbarians at best. His mother Carrie Walker even thought Cody was pulling a prank when he phoned to say his was the second last called out in the alphabetical list of names.
"Generally the boys picked for the Australian sides are from NSW and QLD first sides," Mrs Walker said.
"When he told us he got picked we thought he was having us on.
"We're really proud."
Although his first match for Australian Schoolboys is not until September, the impact the selection has had on boosting his career prospects is already evident.
"We're overwhelmed with how much contact from clubs, managers and universities we've had," Mrs Walker said.
"From our upbringing it's a dream we as parents can only dream of."
Cody boards in Orange as a Year 12 student at Kinross Wolaroi School, where former Maclean resident Anthony Begg teaches. Joe and Carrie Walker are travelling from Yamba to Orange this weekend to watch their son's last game as captain of the school's 1st XV against St Ignatius in the Independent Schools Association system.
"Cody's family predominantly plays rugby league," Mrs Walker said. "But he started rugby union when he was eight and loved it ever since.
"He directs the school team very well and is a very humble young man on and off the field.
"He recently did an interview with the ARU about reconciliation and closing the gap. He also won a young sportsman of the year award from the State Aboriginal Land Council which was nominated by Birrigan Gargle Land Council."