News Release

Will is on ‘Mission from God’ says Canberra Times

Jon Tuxworth, a journalist for the Canberra Times, attended a recent fireside presented by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Canberra. William Hopoate, his parents, and other invited speakers told how families influence sportspeople's careers.

The journalist wanted to see what is making the rising Rugby League star turn down lucrative offers from the NRL to serve a "mission from God." Tuxworth found the soon to be 'Elder' Hopoate completely at home "in front of the packed church pews, speaking about his faith."

Hopoate made the mission decision in the face of opposing pressure from more than one team, but with no pressure from his parents, notes Tuxworth, who describes William as "completely unaffected by the spotlight of NRL fame."

According to the reporter, Hopoate's parents expressed great pride in Will as they each came to the podium. Then, picking up on other comments by Hopoate senior, Tuxworth writes, "Will is so devoted to his faith that friends who visit the family home are often forced to wait while he buries his head in a Bible."

Preceeding the Hopoates on the program were Sidney Going, former New Zealand All Blacks Rugby Union star, and his wife, Colleen. The Goings are currently serving as senior missionaries in Sydney, and they absolutely underscored Will's decision. Elder Going speaks from personal experience.

Writes Tuxsworth, "Sid Going is living proof a sportsman can take a two-year sabbatical and return to play at the elite level. The legendary halfback fulfilled his own Mormon mission as a 19-year old before playing 86 tests in the 1960s and 70s."

Read the online version of the Canberra Times article here:


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