Kemp tackles home school challenge as Group 3 pulls pin on 2020 season

Port City Breakers should have been putting the finishing touches on their preparations for round one of the Group 3 rugby league season on Saturday afternoon.

Instead, coach Dan Kemp spent his time putting the finishing touches on life as a home school teacher after the state government began to relax social distancing restrictions on Friday.

It means oldest son Ayce and sister Rosie will soon return to the classroom one day a week, but Kemp has had to bin the tackling bags and bump pads for 2020 after the Group 3 season was cancelled.

But he says he has enjoyed the last couple of months replacing his role as coach with a makeshift role as school teacher. It’s been an eye-opener.

“I’ve had to brush up on the old times tables; they’ve gone to poop since I’ve been at school.” he said.

“It certainly makes me feel old.”

Normally more at home telling seasoned first graders such as Adrian Daley or Dan Dumas what role they will fill at the weekend, Kemp has had to hover over the shoulder of his children as they learned in the confines of their own home.

With so many other options on their laptops, it’s easy for the kids to get distracted.

“You don’t have to do as much as usual; it’s getting them to do it,” Kemp said.

“Like with any 13-year-old, there are all sorts of things they can flick over to when you’re not looking.”

Ayce is focused on Visual Art, while 12-year-old sister Rosie has taught her dad a thing or two along the way.

“I’ve been doing geography and brushing up on things like capital cities with Rosie; Ayce is doing Visual Art which is not up my alley,” Kemp said.

But he admits he’s far more at home with youngest daughter Dotti.

“I’m a lot better off with the five-year-old doing colouring in!” he laughed.

For a new way of learning, home schooling has worked in the Kemp household.

“You don’t do as much as you would in the old days because it’s all done on their laptops,” he said.

“The days of a textbook, pen and paper are over because they get sent everything online so it’s that motivation to keep themselves occupied.

“But for something unique, it’s worked in our household.”

With senior rugby league now cancelled for the 2020 season, Kemp will have to wait nearly 12 months before he can resume his Thursday night ritual after training.

“I’ll be getting to Settlers for a beer with the boys when I can; that’s the thing I miss the most about not having footy,” he said.

“That’s been the one constant with Ricky Arnell, Jake Kelly and myself. It’s our shout. We haven’t missed a Thursday night session for five years.”


Settlers Inn is a proud sponsor of the Port City Breakers