If Victorian youngsters playing rugby league need any inspiration, they only have to look at Young Tonumaipea.
Tonumaipea is living proof of what can be achieved if the pathway is there for Victorian kids playing the game.
He grew up in Broadmeadows, the same suburb that will be home to the new Rugby League State and Community Centre after it was announced the Victorian government would deliver $12 million in funding.
The centre will be home to NRL Victoria and host state and local competitions, Melbourne Storm community initiatives as well as development programs.
It is an opportunity that rings home for Tonumaipea who views the project as incredibly exciting for kids following in his footsteps.
“What these guys have done for rugby league in Victoria and for Broadmeadows, where I grew up, is awesome,” Tonumaipea said.
“I am just really excited to see what is going to happen here.
“I think the main thing is opportunity, I hope everyone gets the opportunity here. I am lucky enough to be where I am now but I wish I had a centre like this back then.
“Now that this centre is coming, there is no obstacle there to stop these young fellas to work hard to reach the top.”