Community Sports Dad of the Year 2016
James Maloney - NRL

Partner’s name: Jessica
Children’s names: Kade (6), Layla (4) & Ethan (1)

Former Central Coast junior James Maloney has been a key member of the Sharks team which strung together a club record winning run this season. Making his name with the NZ Warriors after a short stint with the Melbourne Storm, James was signed by the Sydney Roosters and played a key part in their 2013 Premiership triumph against Manly, while also making his Origin debut in 2013 for NSW. After three seasons with the Roosters, James signed with the Sharks this year where his has played an integral part in the club’s rise to the top of the NRL ladder, while also regaining his NSW Origin jersey. He has scored more than 1400 career points and is closing in on 200 NRL games, while also making a name for himself as a regular on Channel 9’s The Footy Show. James also has his hands full as the father of three young children. “Having the three kids now I think when I get to spend one on one time with each of them it's always special,” James said. “The kids really are a massive inspiration, it means so much to be able to share different moments with them and have them out on the field with me after a win, while after a loss they put a smile on my face as soon as I get home and put things back into perspective.” Jess says: “James is so hands on with the kids and loves being a part of everything they do, and nothing makes him happier than spending time with them. He is so patient with them and loves teaching them new things.”

Have you found it hard spending time away from the kids during your football commitments? Yeah it's hard, it was probably the hardest when I was playing with the NZ Warriors and we travelled every second week for 3-4 days and the kids were really young. Because they change and develop so quickly, I would notice a difference when I got home. Now the kids are a bit older I can FaceTime them and have a chat which is always good fun. - James

What is your favourite activity with the kids? Being a big kid I love playing at the park with them and the dog, hide and seek around the house and watching them do sport, dancing or swimming lessons - James

On game days, do you like to relax with the kids or do you try to keep away from the family? Relax with the kids. We don't do a whole lot just play around the house, watch a movie or if it's a Saturday they help me pick winners and cheer the horses home. - James

What are you most memorable moments with them? All their 'firsts' are always special. I still remember the first time they crawled and walked, first game of footy, first dance concert and first time riding a bike without training wheels. - James

How much has your life changed since they were all born? Well we were only 23 and 21 when we had Kade so we swapped minimum responsibility, beers and nights out for bottles, changing nappies and sleepless nights but it was the best thing that ever happened to us. - James

Tell us about your daily family duties? Depending on our training schedule I sometimes miss the morning routine so I'm normally in charge of the night routine of homework, brushing teeth, reading a story and the often challenging task of putting them to sleep. But I enjoy the school drop off and pick up when my schedule allows it. - James

I guess you've seen your partner in a whole new light? Yeah for sure, she holds our family together, from the everyday running of daily activities to looking after four kids, she tells me! I'm very lucky to be with someone I see as the best and most loving mother to our kids in the world. - James

What's been the toughest thing to adjust to? Putting up with their attitude as they get older and realising they all have different personalities and need to be parented with different approaches. - James

What is his best asset as a father? He's patient, he's always lots of fun for the kids, he's very loving and affectionate, and embraces anything that comes our way. - Jess

How does he keep in contact with you and the kids when he's away? FaceTime is huge for us. The kids love being able to see him while he's gone and it feels like he's not so far away from them. - Jess

What makes your dad so great?
Doing what we want to do like bowling, putt putt, sky zone and monkey mania. - Kade
Taking us to the beach - Layla

What is the best thing dad does for you?
Watch me play footy. - Kade
Telling us what to do and brushing our teeth. - Layla

Do you want to be like dad when you grow up?
No I wanna be like mummy! - Kade

Sports Dad of the Year 2016
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