Former Taranaki and Central Districts cricketer Tim Weston's career has taken a deviation off the pitch.
Weston, 31, has taken up a role with the New Zealand Rugby Players' Association after a three-year stint teaching in the United Kingdom.
His role has a particular focus on the sevens game, which has become more of a focus for the association after the recent signing of a new collective agreement.
A former players' rep when he was playing for CD, Weston took the opportunity to knock on the door of NZRPA boss Rob Nichol when he was home at April.
An opportunity then arose after the sevens collective was signed and Weston was offered the job.
"They knew I was always really interested in the personal development stuff and wanted to get back and work in sport," he said.
"They got in touch with me and things just went from there."
Based in Auckland, Weston's brief is relatively broad and involves working with New Zealand's 20 contracted men's players, as well as the same number of women's players who are now contracted by the national rugby union, although their set-up is slightly different.
"I take the lead role, so I'm working as a personal development manager, which in layman's terms is helping with career guidance, career planning and trying to get both the men's and women's sevens players up and running for things outside rugby. "I'm also doing a bit of work in terms of delivering the education initiatives that the players' association has, things around anti-doping, wagering, risk awareness, social media, all those things."
Weston was also helping to develop a past-players network to help encourage a link with the current crop.
"We want to try and tap into their networks, which will hopefully give the players the opportunity to gain some work experience outside of the existing networks we have at the moment."
He will also be assisted by High Performance New Zealand, an organisation with a keen interest in sevens now it has become an Olympic sport.
As for his cricket career, Weston said the whites were well and truly tucked away, with little chance of being worn on a regular basis, meaning his first-class career ended with 2577 runs from 46 matches at an average of 40.26.
He did, however, turn out for the Masters Cricket Players' Association in Nelson a couple of weeks ago.
"Other than that, I'll be pretty busy with work because there is quite a bit of travel involved, so I'll just enjoy the summer for what it is, I think."
- Taranaki Daily News
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