The 2020 Groom Scholarship winner, Tom Claydon, is a second-year Bachelor of Secondary Education student at the University of Southern Queensland. Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio announced the award at the Picnic Point Australia Day ceremony.

Mayor Antonio said Tom is an outstanding winner who has been a leader in the community, particularly in sport and education. “The 21-year-old former St Joseph student is the type of role model we look at for those wanting to make our region a better place,” Mayor Antonio said. “While still a student, Tom is already using his skills as a teacher aide at Highfields State Secondary College, where he works three days a week. Using his role as a teacher aide, Tom has been able to coach and be the assistant coach to senior and junior boys’ and girls’ basketball teams. It is his work with community groups that really shone, particularly the Coolaroo Football Club where he is a vice-captain for the senior men’s team, coaches the Coolaroo under 12’s team and volunteers for the club.”

Scholarship winner, Tom Claydon said that working with the Coolaroo Football Club has provided him with a lifetime of memories and opportunities to improve his coaching and football skills. “An important part of my role with the club is introducing children to AFL. It is so rewarding to see new players fall in love with the sport,” Mr Claydon said. “The position I am with the club has taught me discipline, teamwork and communication skills and this will set me up for life’s challenges. I am proud to be a part of such a great organisation. The club is like a family, and I enjoy meeting new players because they teach me something new each time,” he said.

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