Johnathan Thurston to touch down on Southern Downs
A FUTURE rugby league immortal will visit the region to speak with Stanthorpe kids about overcoming adversity and building resilience.
North Queensland Cowboys' Johnathan Thurston will tour Stanthorpe State School, Stanthorpe State High School and St Joseph's on October 20.
Stanthorpe State High School's head of wellbeing Chris Smith said a visit from the iconic footballer was likely to be well received by students.
"We've had other sports personalities, particularly footballers, in the past and they've had a great impact," Mr Smith said.
"No doubt his will be bigger and better than ever before.
"You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't know who he is."
The two-time premiership winning player is expected to share with students' ways to build resilience, perseverance, and how to look out for each other.
The region, which has been crippled by drought, bushfires and more recently COVID-19, has shown students' how challenging life can be.
Mr Smith said the visit from Thurston would be the morale booster the schooling community needed.
"We've been looking at it as about 18 months of continued anxiety," he said.
"It's even more of a reason to have something like this to boost morale and to help us look to the brighter side of life."
With the current COVID regulations in place, Mr Smith said he was unsure how a potential meet and greet with Thurston would go.
"I'm not sure how the photo opportunities will work out - maybe socially distant," he said.
"But I'm sure there will be some sort of chance for the students and to ask questions, too."
Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi said the visit was about highlighting the determined nature of the community's youngest members.
"Johnathon has a reputation for respecting and supporting those around him as much as his athletic ability," Cr Pennisi said.
"Having someone like Johnathan speak about being flexible in the face of adversity was timely."
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