A DONCASTER teacher has taken an extra long summer holiday - to try to make his name as a sports star in Australia.
Balby Carr School teacher Lee West is taking the rest of this academic year away from lessons to try to make the grade with the Melbourne Wolves Rugby League Team.
Lee is already Down Under, and does not plan to return to Doncaster until September, after he was given a career break by the governors at the school and flew out to take trials with the squad.
He has already impressed the managers of the team in a test training session and was selected to represent the state of Victoria in a one-off test match in Tasmania.
The game will be held in a stadium in the Tasmanian state capital Hobart and is expected to be played in front of a huge crowd.
The Wolves squad have been in camp together training and Lee believes it is a big chance to prove that he can hold his own with some of the world’s top players.
He has been working to get used to the heat and the humidity in Australia.
Melbourne Wolves are the main feeder club for one of the biggest rugby league teams on the planet, Melbourne Storm.
But he is not expecting to make the grade with Storm.
He said: “It’s a lot different from training in Doncaster in the winter.
“I have learnt so much and feel my game has improved massively. I would like to pass on my thanks to everyone who has supported me in having this fantastic opportunity.
“Providing I can keep playing well and avoid injuries I should be in a good position to hopefully represent Victoria further in the representative system. As for Storm – in my dreams maybe, that’s about it!”
Martin Craig, headteacher at Balby Carr, said: “It was not a difficult decision for us to allow Mr West to take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“Education is all about inspiring people to aspire and helping them to achieve their dreams.”
Melbourne Wolves play in the Victoria Premier League.
Lee, who is head of Year Nine at Balby Carr, has been there since the end of January training and playing trial games to get selected for the test match in Tasmania.
In England his previous clubs have been Doncaster, Sheffield and Featherstone.