Tyronie Rowe - Adversity

Tyronie Rowe is one of only a few Jamaican players to leave the island in an effort to pursue their dreams of professional Rugby League, now staying and playing in Coventry, the dream is very much alive and kicking. It's certainly not been an easy road for the Jamaican International.

Tyronie grew up in the troubled area of Tivoli Gardens, an area synonymous with drugs and gang culture, making it very easy for kids to fall in with the wrong crowd. Coming from such a tough area in which opportunities are few and far between has helped him appreciate just how far he has come on his journey so far.

I spoke with Tyronie about his journey and his Rugby League experiences and the game he has grown to love. Speaking with Tyronie and his first real involvement with the game he had this to say "First I was playing Rugby 7s I was about 15, but I was a big unit, taking balls straight up the pitch like a get away train, after a long and hard final we were going into a break so I was approached by Romeo (President of the JRLA) asking if I fancy learning about rugby league, as he said it's similar but a bit different in rules, but easy to catch on, so I took the time for training and went along, I was like its a bit strange this game, I don't get it, guys keep on knocking me about for no reason like what is this? So many guys in one tackle like they jumped me ,  so I went home and watch the game on YouTube and went to my second training session and killed it and I got on this path, from that day on I loved the game".

Arriving in the UK, he would get his shot with the Coventry Bears, before falling out of favour. " I started out playing for the Coventry Bears and played 3 seasons there, but when they got promoted I wasn't able to keep my spot on the team, as they could only have 3 foreign players on the team to go into championship 1, and there were already a few Australians and Kiwis in the team, so I fell out and ending up playing for Coventry Dragons as I love rugby that much".

His talent soon got him spotted and the Toronto Wolfpack would offer him a trial "Leading up to the trials I was very nervous and excited at the same time, I was saying yes this is the change, this is the day, it felt like a dream come true, and the Wolfpack took us on like we were family, we were well taken care of, we were living the life and we couldn't wait to play and show them what we've got."

"The Toronto trials made us all realise we weren't working hard enough to give this game what it was looking for, we were doing everything moderately and rugby league requires more than Moderation,  you have to go beyond boundaries, we have to break through , we have to do what normal people don't do; the training, there was waking up at 6am for training and not finishing until 3pm, like that was military style I would say, but it was great, it was an eye opener".

Life would unfortunately deal Tyronie a raw deal during his time in England, when he received a phone call, to notify him that his home, and all his possessions had perished in a fire, "Yes it's sad saying I was away when I lost everything back home, the only thing left was the aftermath, and when I heard I just prayed and smiled trying to keep a clear head , it took me a week before I said anything as I'm the type of person that doesn't complain, as it's weak to beg or complain about your problems where I'm from."

"Then I contacted a lady called Helen that was part of the Wolfpack and she got the word across to Jeff, another Wolfpack guy, and he went to Romeo and they investigated it and came on board to start a gofundme page, to help me to rebuild my home, and that went on for about a month then it stopped. I was very happy for the help and the urgency of the rugby families , it helped me to get my house back but I'm  still left to furnish it, so I'm still doing bits and pieces as I can't live inside it as yet but I'm thankful".

Tyronie is still in Coventry, working hard, looking forward to his next big opportunity. A man that was previously a track athlete, running the 200 and 400 metres in very competitive times, that developed a dream and ever growing passion for Rugby League.



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