As he prepares to tackle final academic exams this month, Matthew Flinders Anglican College Year 12 student Mitch Lehmann is celebrating a top result outside of the classroom: his selection in the Australian Schools President’s XV 2021 Rugby Union Team!
Mitch and 22 other star rugby union players from across Australia were selected for the ASRU President’s XV team due to their impressive performance at their respective State Championships in 2021.
The exciting opportunity is offered through Australian Schools Rugby Union, which is an affiliate member of Rugby Australia and provides young athletes with the traditional pathway of district – regional – state – national representation.
Mitch is part of the Flinders Elite Athlete Program, a new mentoring program offered to elite student athletes at the College.
FEAP aims to support and challenge students to confidently manage the competing demands of their academic and sporting commitments so that they may reach their academic and sporting potential while nurturing their health and wellbeing.
Mitch said he appreciated the "community, encouragement and support within Flinders" during his schooling years and sporting journey.
"I would particularly like to thank Flinders Head of Sport Mr Adam Ridgewell and Principal Mr Stuart Meade for always encouraging and congratulating me when I have achieved things. Their unconditional support really drives me to achieve bigger things in the future."
Mitch was asked to share more about his rugby goals and career through this Q&A profile below.
(Cover image photo: Flinders rugby star Mitch Lehmann holds his Australian Schools Rugby Union memento with Principal Stuart Meade)
Tell us about the latest rugby opportunity you have achieved.
I have been selected in the Australian Schools President’s XV 2021 team. This is a merit team and will not travel or compete, due to COVID. I was a part of the Queensland Schoolboys Rugby team, and from this I was selected in the Australian team.
Why is it exciting in terms of your rugby career and passion?
It is a huge honour for me to be recognised in an Australian team! This is a first for Flinders and I hope it inspires younger students to work towards their dream.
What do you love about rugby? Why is it your sport of choice?
I love playing rugby because there is a sense of unity which brings the team together. It doesn’t matter where everyone comes from but we all come together with the same passion and drive. I was the captain of the Flinders Rugby team this year and this was special because it allowed me to lead by example, whilst still learning from the players around me.
What other rugby teams have you been involved in?
This year I focussed on playing school rugby union and on my academic goals. In the past, I have also played Club rugby for Flinders and in the Queensland 7s Rugby where I was the vice captain.
What have you learned through the Flinders Elite Athlete Program that has helped you juggle sport and study?
Being involved in FEAP has meant I have a wider support network beyond my classroom teachers. FEAP has also given me the opportunity to get to know some of the younger elite athletes at Flinders and attend a variety of different workshops and hear from guest speakers. It’s always interesting to hear other people’s journeys and the challenges they have faced. Their stories and experiences can really inspire.
What sort of support do you appreciate through your Flinders network: e.g. whether teachers, coaches, directors of coaching, friends, etc?
There is always a great sense of community, encouragement and support within Flinders. I feel as though everyone acknowledges and appreciates when I or others achieve something special.
What are your plans for 2022 once you graduate from Flinders?
Next year I hope to move to Brisbane to study and to play footy.
Anything else you would like to share?
I would like to thank Head of Sport Mr Adam Ridgewell and Principal Mr Stuart Meade for always encouraging and congratulating me when I have achieved things. Their unconditional support really drives me to achieve bigger things in the future.