It’s a saying that, for high profile sports people, can prove so true: ‘Just one moment of your time could be a lifetime memory for someone else’.
It could be the time spent signing an autograph and stopping for a chat after a match, or an NRL player heading down to a junior team’s training session or attending hospital to cheer up a sick child.
We are proud at the Aquis Gold Coast Titans that Luke Douglas won the 2015 Ken Stephen Medal for his community work because he genuinely enjoys taking time to bring joy to others.
To see the joy on the faces of Down syndrome children running onto the stadium with the team at Cbus Super Stadium or at his surfing for disabled session on the Gold Coast is spirit lifting.
To see the response to Luke and Matt Srama accompanying Jade Elliott, in a wheelchair, to her year 12 formal and Ryan James leaping into the stand and present Harrison Wheatley with his boots after a home match, and later cutting his once signature locks to help Harrison raise money for the Starlight Foundation, were among the highlights of 2015 for this club.
And in that vein, Daniel Mortimer has given a magic memory to a Lennox Head boy as a thank you for finding his mouthguard after the last home clash of the season against the Dragons at Cbus Super Stadium.
I remember well ‘Morts’ asking, after full-time, if I could look for his mouthguard he had lost after the clash but after co-opting some helpers who were on the field and having no luck, I’d forgotten about the moment.
That was until the club received a note from Rebecca Kennedy, mother of eight-year-old Charlie who had found Daniel’s mouthguard while children were admitted to the field after the match (it had Mortimer’s name on the inside) and sent it back to him via the club’s address.
Dan was about to leave for his off-season break when he learned it had been returned and the story could have ended there.
But after his extended trip to the US, Morts wrote Charlie a thank you letter and enclosed his training shirt, autographed with message to him, and his playing shorts.
Charlie was shocked when he opened the mail and according to his mother is now a Titan for life. He last year played for the local rugby union side but now wants to switch to league, so impressed was he with Daniel’s gesture.
She posted on Facebook: “Earlier this year Pat took him [Charlie] to a Titans footy match and Charlie found Daniel Mortimer’s mouth guard on the field afterwards. So he decided to post it back together with a gorgeous letter.
“Today Charlie received a package in the mail from Daniel Mortimer. It included the most beautiful letter from Daniel, a personal message to Charlie on his training shirt and his playing shorts.
“He also wants to meet Charlie in person. Charlie is beside himself with excitement.
“So lovely. What a beautiful role model for my son!”
Mortimer said it was the least he could do for Charlie’s gesture and is over the moon it has seen him become a devoted league and Titans boy.
“I was really impressed with how honest he was in sending it back to me and he sent a nice letter too, so thanks Charlie,” Daniel said.
“I hope I get to meet him after a game so I can thank him personally.
“If we can enrich someone else’s life by taking a bit of time to show we appreciate their support, it make us feel good too.
“That can be a special part of being an NRL player.”