David Pocock, from rugby to the Australian senate

David Pocock

Canberra – Since 1975, the Australian capital Canberra has been represented by two senators in the federal parliament. For 47 years, the two available seats have always been shared between Labor and Liberals, the country’s two main parties.

This dualism was first broken a few days ago by former Australian national rugby player, David Pocock, who was elected as a freelancer with over a hundred thousand likes. He thus took the place of an experienced liberal candidate, Zed Seselja, who had been in office for nine years.

During his career, reaching the highest levels of professional rugby, Pocock had been an athlete like no other. From an early age, he combined his sporting commitments with an unusual interest in social and environmental issues.

At eighteen, he spent $1,000 received as match prizes to buy sleeping bags which he distributed to the homeless in Perth. In 2014, while playing for the Canberra Brumbies, he was arrested for chaining himself to work machinery in protest at the opening of a new coal mine in New York state. South Wales. When he got married, he did not register his marriage. .]until same-sex marriages were introduced. In the later years of his career, he had instead joined a fund that offset travel emissions incurred for sporting commitments by investing in solar parks in the state of Queensland.

Environmental commitment depends on its origins, as he has often said. Pocock indeed moved to Australia at the age of fourteen, having grown up among the citrus groves of Zimbabwe on the border with South Africa, where he was born. He had to leave the country with the rest of his family in the early 2000s, when Robert Mugabe, the former president and dictator of Zimbabwe, began land reform that led to the expropriation of farms from white citizens. The same, however, also happened in those years to Italian rugby player Sebastian Negri, born in Zimbabwe and then a refugee in South Africa.

Pocock obtained a visa from the Australian authorities and moved with his family to Brisbane on the east coast in 2002. He had already started playing rugby in Zimbabwe and moved to Australia, quickly becoming one of the most interesting players in the national scene. He made his debut at the age of eighteen in Super Rugby – the southern hemisphere championship – with the Western Force of Perth and at twenty-three he was named captain of Australia, with whom he played three World Cups, the last three years ago in Japan. .

Aided by a great physique and characterized by a style of play defined as “brutal” due to the propensity for confrontation and sacrifice, he was remembered as One of the biggest players in his role: open side flank. The same style of play, however, was also the cause of the many injuries suffered in his career which, especially in recent years, after two surgically reconstructed knees, forced him to retire after an experience in the Japanese championship. .

As a former player he had continued to deal with social issues – also returning to Africa – and his charity, Eighty Twenty Vision. Finally, between 2021 and 2022, it announces its candidacy for parliament with the campaign “From melee to the senate” focused on the defense of the territory and the reduction of emissions according to pre-established limits by 2030, on policies in favor of more accessible housing solutions at a lower cost of living, on women’s rights and in favor of a better national representation of Aboriginal Australians.

Out of more than twenty-three candidates for the seats in the so-called Australian Capital Territory (ACT), he was the only one to exceed one hundred thousand preferences. “For the first time, we have an independent voice representing our community in federal parliament. I will do my best to be available and responsible for all the citizens of the area in which I was elected,” he said after validating the results.

Source: ilpost



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