This article was originally published on 8th May, 2015.
Brodie Grundy is a student ambassador for La Trobe University. He will appear at the Melbourne Career Expo at MCEC from 1pm on Saturday, 25th July.
Brodie Grundy doesn’t write poetry in the park on his days off. Nor does he walk his cat on a lead. He doesn’t even own a cat.
The Collingwood big man likes to study, read, and play footy. They’re hardly unusual traits for a 21-year-old. Apparently, for some, that makes him a little left of centre in the AFL world.
The urban myths that go with being an educated young South Australian, with a passion for learning, playing at a powerful club are puzzling. Grundy isn’t fazed by them. He’s just being himself.
“”I am only in my third year but I often tell the new guys who come into the club that they should be who they are, whether that be through the way they express themselves, or passions they have outside of football.” – Brodie Grundy
“Sometimes people are taken aback in the classroom when they realise I play footy, because of my focus on doing well in my studies. I don’t mind being thought of as a bit of a nerd,” he told aflplayers.com.au.
“I am only in my third year but I often tell the new guys who come into the club that they should be who they are, whether that be through the way they express themselves, or passions they have outside of football.
“If people are invested in what they are doing outside of the club and feel supported in doing so, they are going to be of much greater value when they are at the club.
“In my case the club has been fantastic in the support they have given me in my study, and in turn it’s helped to make me a more balanced person.”
Grundy hasn’t always been a lover of learning. An ATAR score of 91.5 at high school was driven more by his desire to be accepted into a bachelor of applied science degree than enjoyment.
He started that course, majoring in human movement, at Uni SA before the Magpies came calling at the 2012 draft.
Grundy said initially enrolling to go to university – and switching to La Trobe in Melbourne – had helped develop life skills outside the structure football brings.
“I had to do a lot of research, emailing and networking to apply and successfully transfer universities on my own,” he said.
“It has been something that I have valued in regards to my personal development, getting out of my comfort zone and learning new skills. I like to be across everything and ensure I take control of my future.
“I don’t want to finish footy and not know how to pay my bills or sort my tax out, I want to be self-sufficient. Better to ask questions now than when it’s too late.”
Grundy has relished his move to La Trobe and is now focused on maintaining high marks in a bid to switch into the physiotherapy degree he wants to complete.
“I do put pressure on myself to get high distinctions at university as without them I will find it difficult to internally transfer,” he said.
“I don’t want to finish footy and not know how to pay my bills or sort my tax out, I want to be self-sufficient.” – Brodie Grundy
“If my GPA isn’t quite high enough I will finish my health Science degree at La Trobe and do physiotherapy postgraduate, that’s the plan at the moment.
“I have a passion for what I am studying, so the thirst for knowledge comes naturally.
“I think the key to studying is finding something you are passionate about, and having an open mind to different fields. For me science wasn’t something I really enjoyed until I finished school.
“Since finishing school and especially moving to Melbourne, going to university has been something that I really value as it has enabled me to invest in something wholeheartedly that isn’t football-related, which I feel come the end of my career will be of great value.
“Football isn’t going to last forever and with the support and funding available through the AFL Players’ Association it would be a great waste not to utilise the opportunities that we have as players.”
Grundy’s approach to football, however, is a little different to his education.
“I try not to overthink football,” he said.
“When I am just playing freely and on instinct I tend to play my best.
“As soon as I start worrying about Player X and Player Y and what they do, then I think I am focusing on the wrong things.”
Interested in studying sport? Click here to find out more about the programs on offer at La Trobe University.