When asked to write a story on our son Rei Rei I was at a loss, His Dad likes to keep things private and tends to think we are “big noting” writing a story so I decided to asked Rei Rei to write his story for his Aunty Cresh so she can share it. I was surprised but happy when he agreed as he also likes to keep things close to his chest. He wrote the following (without any prompting) its him all over, laid back personality. There are some big goals for the years ahead but whatever path our son decides to take we support him 100%. – Sarah (Flossie) Stephenson
I Reihana David Wi Pere Marsh being born of goodly parents, Reihana Marsh and Sarah Stephenson and grandson of Eddie Marsh, Charmaine Marsh, David Stephenson and Lorraine Stephenson have had an adventurous 16 years of life.
I was born on the 19th of June 1999 in my grandparents’ house in Te Rehunga, Dannevirke. My parents wanted to not only give my sister Te Rina and I the best opportunity at life but they also wanted to better their own future so they moved us to Australia when I was one and a half. My younger brother Ihaka came into our lives five years later. I attended Windaroo State Primary School.
I remember when I was 5 and my dad wanted me to be a Muay Thai fighter so he would train me all the time until one day I said I didn’t like it so he cut down the boxing bag, dragged it on the lawn and told me to tackle it. Then most afternoons after school he would make me go out and train even when I was crying. This must have paid off because I also remember getting sin binned for “tackling to hard”
I’ve had a few sporting achievements since then. My first rep Team was Under 11 Beenleigh District being the youngest player to make it. The following year I made it again, and went on to be selected into the under 11 South Coast team and getting player of the tournament. The following year I made the same teams but missed out on a selection in the Queensland side.
When I was playing for club U13s I got concussed and my parents pulled me out of all league for 6 months. After that I didn’t really put much effort into rugby league and didn’t trial for any rep teams. I was fortunate enough to still be offered a scholarship at Coombabah High and was selected in the Gold Coast Titans Academy but league was just a hobby. All my mates at school were making all these rep teams and I had made nothing. That year my mum told me how she use to push me and my sister around in a shopping trolley because we couldn’t afford a car (or a pram) and it made me realise they have been through so much and I’m giving nothing back at all. So at the end of grade nine I decide to train and that’s when I realised that rugby league was a sport I wanted to partake in.
In Rugby League age 15 is a big year for young prospects so I knew I had to make it count. I was selected into the under 15 Broadwater team, then the under 15 South Coast side and got contracted to the North Queensland Cowboys. My goal was to be selected in the Queensland Maroons side which I achieved. It made my family so proud and the enjoyment and happiness they got out of it really made me think that maybe I should put in more effort to reach a much greater goal. This year I was selected in the Queensland Academy of Sport and under 18 Broadwater side. Under 16 has the greatest reward any teenager would love to be granted, “Under 16 State of Origin Team” which I was grateful enough to be selected in. Other than league I don’t really have any hobbies but my real desire is to have a life with a farm and horses. Its good going home and getting on the back of a horse and seeing how beautiful life is and realising how blessed you and your family have been and how far you all have come as a whole.
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