At 179cm tall and 86 kilograms, you could easily be mistaken for not thinking that Johnathan Thurston is a dominant force in one of the most brutal professional sports played in the 21st Century. The truth of the matter is Thurston is a leader of his generation on the field.
His latest accolade cements these thoughts, having received the 2015 Rugby League Players Association "Most Valuable Player" award, this award is judged by the hardest critics in the game, his peers.
Johnathan Thurston has the knack to stand the ball on end and changed a game in a heartbeat. It's the kind of skill you can't coach, just ask Neil Henry he will whole heartedly agree.
Thurstan's stats by the age of thirty are above and beyond the norm, even for some of the best players to ever have donned the boots. One premiership and twenty seven State of Origin appearances, including the magnificent run of eight series in a row. Twenty-five times he has played for the Australian Kangaroos and four for the Indigenous All Stars. Including representative games
We live in an age where 'sports' major competitor for children is not other sports, but IT (information technology). Computer gaming consoles and games have rocked the world of outdoor recreation and sports in general to the core. It's one of the reasons why we need great role models in our society that kids can look up to and be inspired to chase their dreams.
Johnathan Thurston has been an exceptional role model over the last few years, after some early hiccups that were played out in the media. Thurston has grown into a fine young man on and off the field.
Just this year he signed a new kicking tee and after every conversion and a young member of the crowd was given the tee, also it's widely known that Thurston surrenders his signed headgear after each match to one very happy young fan.
Thurstan has always found time for children and young supporters of the game and his child like laugh and larrikin ways lead me to think of him as Rugby Leagues very own "Peter Pan", inspiring children to find the fun in the game.
As children growing up, we all have to learn how to lose at some stage, we must also learn how to carry ourselves when things have simply "not gone our way". Many young footballers in North Queensland will have been watching the response of Johnathan Thurston over the past years through the good times and challenging.
Josh Hinds is a school chaplain on the Gold Coast, a family man and PSI's IT professional. Josh is an experienced writer on international sport.
Josh Hinds' previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/joshua-hinds.html