Sipley making mark off the field

Vodafone Junior Warriors captain Toafofoa Sipley isn’t one to sit on his hands.

When he isn’t leading the club’s NYC side in the 2015 Holden Cup, the 20-year-old Sipley is studying to become a secondary school physical education teacher.

The former St Paul’s College student is in his third year in the University on Auckland’s elite physical education programme studying for a Bachelor of Education (PE) degree.

“This is also the third season ‘Toaf’ has been in our NYC team and he works hard to balance the rigours of elite sports performance and his studies,” said Vodafone Warriors welfare and education manager Jerry Seuseu.

“He’s another great example of what the NYC was set up to achieve. While it provides the chance for young players to pursue their dreams of becoming professional footballers it also requires them to study or work and plan for their future outside football.”

For Sipley that means packing his laptop with his boots when he travels with the Vodafone Junior Warriors for away games so he can keep on top of his assignments.

On the football front, Sipley is also making giant strides. He was in the club’s NYC premiership-winning side last year and is the most experienced player in this season’s squad; he made his 41st appearance in last Saturday’s 34-12 win over Wests Tigers, a match in which he scored a try – his fifth of the season so far – carried the ball 12 times for 159 metres and also made six tackles breaks and 19 tackles.

On Saturday he lines up for the Junior Kiwis for the first time in their international against the Junior Kangaroos in Robina.