Community Sports Dad of the Year 2016
 
Corey Parker - NRL

Partner’s Name: Margaux
Children’s Names: Memphis (6), Wylei (5), Jagger (2) & River (6 months)
Charity of Choice: Hear & Say www.hearandsay.com.au

Since bursting onto the scene with his beloved Broncos as a teenager from Logan City, Corey Parker has gone on to establish himself as one of the most versatile, durable and whole hearted players ever produced in the Sunshine State. Parker will hang up the boots the end of this year after 18 Origins during Queensland’s all-conquering reign, 13 Tests for the Kangaroos and more than 340 games for the Broncos in 16 seasons of NRL. He won the Wally Lewis Medal as the player of the Origin series last year and has scored more than 1300 points for the Broncos and with four children, Corey will certainly have plenty to keep him busy in retirement. “The kids all love being outdoors,” Corey said. “We’re always in the pool or kicking a footy around but they also love jumping on motorbikes out the back of our place. I don’t mind what we do, it’s always good just spending quality time together and seeing them enjoy themselves.” Wife Margaux says: “Corey’s always generous with his time and nothing is ever too difficult. He also has a great ability to lighten any mood and make things fun, especially with questionable “dad jokes.”

How hard is it spending time away from the kids during the season? It’s difficult for everyone - I think all the sports dads and their families would say the same. In my house it’s especially tough on my two youngest kids, Wylei and Jagger, because they’re too young to understand why I seem to come and go for nine months of the year. From a selfish perspective I find it tough too – each time I’m on the road for an away trip, camp or tour it feels like I’m missing part of the kids growing up. - Corey

How big of an inspiration are your kids to your career? It’s been quite remarkable. When Memphis was born I was 28 and overnight it seemed to change my whole perspective, not just on my career but on myself as a person. There are obvious responsibilities you face right away as a Dad but from an athletic perspective, playing for something bigger than yourself is very motivating and rewarding. - Corey

Are you always mindful of setting a good example for them on and off the field?
Definitely. Rugby league is covered so extensively these days, especially in Brisbane, so the kids see us in the news all the time and get asked about different things at school. I’m always mindful of setting the best possible example I can for my family. - Corey

Do they take an interest in your career? Memphis and Wylei do, especially Wylei. He knows all of the boys by name and loves the atmosphere at games. A few weeks ago I went to pick him up from school and he was around his friends. Next thing he sees me and yells out “Hi, Corey Parker!” - Corey

Have you ever been asked to attend their school/day care for news? I’ve been asked a few times to come into school, sometimes for news classes but also for assemblies and sports carnivals. I really enjoy going in because my kids get a kick out of it. - Corey

One game day, do you like to relax with the kids or do they understand to keep away from you? We play a lot of Friday night games so Memphis and River are usually at school, but if we play on a Saturday or Sunday and they’re around I spend a lot of time with them during the day. I prefer to switch-on for games close to kickoff, so everything up until the point is normal and always involves the kids. - Corey

What is the most memorable moment with your kids? My last State of Origin game at Suncorp Stadium this year was something I won’t forget. The whole family were there and we all got interviewed as a family after the game. Having them there was an incredible experience, especially after a series win when the atmosphere was so electric. - Corey

Where is their favourite place they like you to take them? They love going to the movies and are always at me for ice cream, even in winter. The circus is also one of their favourite places. - Corey

Favourite family holidays? We spent some time at the Southport Broadwater Caravan Park last year which was awesome. There was no footy stuff to worry about and all of your usual tourist park activities....swimming, outdoor sports, BBQ’s etc. Fun for the kids and adults! - Corey

How hard is it when he has to be away from home on tour? It can be difficult, mainly because the energy when he’s at home is different – the kids are always so excited whenever he’s around. Four kids with only one set of hands was always going to bring challenges, but his football career isn’t going to last forever. We wouldn’t change anything for the world. - Margaux

What is the best asset as a father? I think his willingness to get his hands dirty. Whenever Corey’s at home he’s in the thick of the action. - Margaux

How do the kids keep in contact with him when he is away? Facetime. The kids call him regularly and love being able to see him while he’s away. Now that Memphis is able to read and write she texts him all the time as well! - Margaux

Do they recognise him on TV? The three eldest do. Jagger more recently, and they all have competitions to see who can spot him on TV first. All of them pick him out much quicker than I do, they don’t miss a thing. - Margaux

Does he get involved in the bathing and nappy changing etc? Yes, he is very hands on. Usually when he comes home from being away, we do a quick hand over and his hands are immediately full! He loves it though and has always been a fantastic Dad. - Margaux

What makes dad so great? He gives me lollies and tickles me. He is the funnest Dad ever! - Memphis

What is the best thing dad does for you? He takes me to the movies, helps with my homework and is a good listener - Wylie

Do you like watching him play footy? We love watching dad but we also go for the Storm and the Sharks because of Cam Smith and the Sharks because of Uncle Mick [Michael Ennis]! - Memphis & Wylie

Sports Dad of the Year 2016
 
 
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