Just a big boy and his ball: Obed Kahwin and his passport to a new life. Picture: Gene RamirezMANY hear the call beckoning rugby league stardom but few are chosen.
Junior representative teams, the Holden Cup, the NRL itself . . . Obed Kahwin has heard the call and has the ambition.
“And he’s not afraid to tell you,” said Steve Warwick, of Kahwin’s Blacktown PCYC club.
What’s more, Kahwin has indeed been called.
The 16 year old is in the Parramatta under/17 development squad.
This would make him just another young player with dreams and potential except for his background.
Kahwin is from Liberia, on the west coast of Africa and lives in Doonside with his mother and younger brother.
His origin was recognised when he was chosen in the Africa United team for the recent washed-out Harmony Sevens at Redfern Oval.
It wasn’t a complete washout, however.
Kahwin was then chosen as Africa’s representative in the NSW All Stars U/17 team that played the touring Auckland Vikings in Cabramatta.
Mentored by Dean Widders, Nathan Hindmarsh and Hazem El Masri, the All Stars combined Fijian, Maori, indigenous, Lebanese, Maltese, African, Samoan and Mediterranean cultures.
They represented the literal and figurative changing face of rugby league. Kahwin got a big kick; he scored the All Stars’ first try.
“He was very proud of that,” said Warwick.
“He’s made big inroads in the five years he’s been playing.
“He’s a utility who can play from centre to prop.
“He ‘s built like guys in gyms but it’s natural, he doesn’t work out in gyms.
“He’s well over six feet and over 90kg. He’s a pure athlete and loves rugby league.”
Warwick said that passion came through in his devotion to the club.
“He’s good with the kids, will stand around all day watching the games and man the barbecue.
“He’s a real helper and a great support for his mum.”
In other words, he conforms to Warwick’s words about team play: “the best thing about sport is that it’s a great cultural builder.
“It allows people to learn about each other.”
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