In a league of his own

Kingsley Dennison

Kingsley Dennison is used to breaking new turf as one of the state's up and coming rugby league stars.

But at Endeavour Sports High School his groundbreaking efforts include this year being elected the school's first Indigenous school captain.

The honour has been followed up with a 2010 Nanga Mai Student Leadership Award awarded in April this year.

Kingsley's talents straddle academia and the sporting arena.

According to the school's literacy middle years consultant, Sylvia Vago, when she first met Kingsley she had no idea such a quiet, young boy would grow into a powerful speaker and debater.

"Kingsley first participated in the Aboriginal Students' Great Debates in 2008, helped his team win in 2009 and was master of ceremonies in 2010," Ms Vago said.

"When Kingsley entered the Patrick White Young Indigenous Writer competition in 2009 for Years 7-12, he showed me his story after, and didn't ask for my help.

"When I read it I was struck by his maturity and wasn't surprised when he won the short story competition."

Kingsley is a member of the Targeted Sports Program in rugby league. He joined in Year 7 and captained the Under 12s to win the NSW State School Knockout. This year he attended the inaugural All Stars Earn Legend Youth Summit that brought together 120 Indigenous students from across Australia.

Outside of school, Kingsley played in the NSW Indigenous Under 16s team at the curtain raiser for the Indigenous All Stars v NRL All Stars match in 2010.

On and off the field, Kingsley understands the need to mentor younger students.

In Year 11 he was a peer support leader and peer tutor for Year 7 students. On the field he's always willing to nurture younger players with his skills, knowledge and sense of fair play.

"It is important to raise the awareness of Aboriginal achievements in school work and sport in the wider community," Kingsley said.

"I believe it is important to mentor younger students and to be a positive role model to Aboriginal students as well as all students.

"I believe it is important to make a difference, keep the bigger picture in mind and show that with determination you can achieve your goals.

"My self confidence has grown in public speaking as a result of representing the school in various capacities."

While his time at Endeavour Sports High School has been a juggling act between sport and education, Kingsley already has his sights set on furthering his education.

Kingsley attended the 2010 Indigenous Australian Engineering Summer School at UNSW and recently was awarded an RTA engineering scholarship for 2010/2011 designed to encourage and promote promising future engineering students.

Photo: Sylvia Vago

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