BDarius Boyd, Mick Curran, Matt Gillett and students Cameron Mercer, Caitlyn Van Doren, Jessie Amber and Kiarnah Lee at Gympie High earlier today. Picture: Shane Zahner
BDarius Boyd, Mick Curran, Matt Gillett and students Cameron Mercer, Caitlyn Van Doren, Jessie Amber and Kiarnah Lee at Gympie High earlier today. Picture: Shane Zahner

Legends of league reach out to Gympie teens

EARLY life adversity is the driving force behind former Broncos captain and current player Darius Boyd’s passion to help young people develop a healthy mindset.

Former Broncos captain Darius Boyd. Picture: Shane Zahner
Former Broncos captain Darius Boyd. Picture: Shane Zahner

Darius was joined today at Gympie State High School by former team-mate Matt Gillett and the two shared their stories of challenges they have had to overcome with about 150 students from Gympie High and James Nash State High.

Mr Boyd said he struggled to overcome feelings of depression and other negative emotions most of his life before admitting five years ago that he needed help.

Retired Broncos star Matt Gillett. Picture: Shane Zahner
Retired Broncos star Matt Gillett. Picture: Shane Zahner

“I never knew my father. In fact I don’t know who he is to this day,” he said.

He said his welfare fell to his grandmother, who he moved in with when he was a teenager.

This unconventional home life left him “feeling sorry for myself” and was just one of the contributing factors to making poor choices early on in his career.

But five years ago he made the decision to seek help and since then has made it his passion to impart the three lessons he has learned to help combat feelings of inadequacy, depression and grief - developing a support network, expressing gratitude and cultivating empathy.

Brayden Joseph, Darren Burns, Jack Long and Codie McMurtie. Picture: Shane Zahner
Brayden Joseph, Darren Burns, Jack Long and Codie McMurtie. Picture: Shane Zahner

The talk was well received by the students and followed up by a talk by Matt Gillett, who shared his gratitude towards the Broncos for helping him overcome the most recent challenge in his life when a shoulder injury forced his early retirement last year by providing this mentoring role.

Lucinda Edwards, Asha Ewing and Darren Burns. Picture: Shane Zahner
Lucinda Edwards, Asha Ewing and Darren Burns. Picture: Shane Zahner

Broncos Game Development Manager Paul Dyer also spoke at length about the importance of maintaining not just physical health but good mental health practises too.

“There’s the glamour of being a professional footy player, but there are negatives to that as well,” Mr Dyer said.

Broncos Game Development Manager Paul Dyer. Picture: Shane Zahner
Broncos Game Development Manager Paul Dyer. Picture: Shane Zahner

“Darius has had his struggles with that,” he said.

He also stressed the most important asset a person can possess is their health.

A big crowd at Gympie High soak in some important advice on mental health from some Broncos legends. Picture: Shane Zahner
A big crowd at Gympie High soak in some important advice on mental health from some Broncos legends. Picture: Shane Zahner

“My first piece of advice is to invest in your health - because if you don’t have your health it won’t matter if you have a big house or a beautiful wife or a fancy car.

“My second is to develop a personal brand and that starts with being a good person,” Mr Dyer said.

Search on for best Gympie summer coach

Bronco faces three month ban after court case

Darius Boyd, Mayor Mick Curran, Matt Gillett. Front Row, Cameron Mercer, Caitlyn Van Doren, Jessie Amber and Kiarnah Lee. Picture: Shane Zahner
Darius Boyd, Mayor Mick Curran, Matt Gillett. Front Row, Cameron Mercer, Caitlyn Van Doren, Jessie Amber and Kiarnah Lee. Picture: Shane Zahner