Sam Perrett has joined New Zealand Warrior Jerome Ropati as the Inaugural winner of the NRL Pasifika Academic Excellence Award.
This award is a culmination of the National Rugby League and The Australian National University’s Pasifika Australia partnership and development across the NRL Pasifika Program.
Pasifika Australia is an equity and outreach initiative supported by the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific and the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program. The NRL and ANU partnership seeks to improve the social and economic wellbeing of Pasifika communities through sports development and education.
The award is available to two NRL players of Pasifika heritage that have excelled and demonstrated a long term commitment to rugby league, academia and Pasifika outreach. This scholarship will be in partnership with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), one of the most reputable US institutions in regards to Pacific Islander Studies and Pasifika outreach.
Thus, the recipients will expand their personal development and broaden their perspectives on:
1. International academic and research opportunities and the concept of student-athletes.
2. Comparative understandings of Pasifika/Pacific Islander immigrant communities in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.
3. Pasifika/Pacific Islander participation in collegiate and professional sports in the United States.
4. First-hand experience in creating ideas and solutions for Pasifika/Pacific Islander communities.
To qualify as a candidate of this award, the person must meet the criteria below:
(1) Must demonstrate excellence in athletic performance
(2) Must demonstrate excellence in academic achievement*
(3) Must demonstrate excellence in community outreach**
*By academic achievement, this award means maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 2.7 or higher (or institution equivalent of) as a full-time or part-time university student and/or presently attaining a certificate/diploma for a trade (e.g., carpentry, masonry, etc.). One certified transcript or its equivalent is required to demonstrate proof of enrolment in an academic or vocational institution.
**By community outreach, this award means accruing at least 40 hours of service with one or more educational, non-profit, or religious Pasifika organization in Australia and/or New Zealand during the current NRL season (Nov 1-Oct 30). Service can mean mentoring and/or volunteering for a community and/or public organization. One reference letter from the supervisor of a church, hospital, school or related institution is required.