SYDNEY — Faith, family and footy in that order are the three most important things in Dietrich Roache’s life and the things he attributes for his place in the Tokyo Olympics.
The former Patrician Brothers’ College Fairfield student and the youngest member of the Australian rugby sevens team said his success in not only rugby but life is due to Jesus.
“My faith is my rock in everything I do, and sport is no different,” he said.
“I’m so grateful to have Jesus in my life, he’s helped me get in the blessed position I am in today.”
Fiji eliminated Australia in the quarterfinals July 27, but at age 20 Roache could have many Olympics ahead.
A relative newcomer to the game, Dietrich was more into computer games than football or soccer — called “footy” in Australian slang — up until three years ago, when he went to watch the Sydney Sevens with his family.
“Both dad and my uncle played for the Western Sydney Two Blues rugby union club, but I didn’t really get interested in it until quite recently,” he said. “I was watching the Sydney Sevens in 2018 on a family outing, and just fell in love with the sport and the environment.
“I’m very spiritual and family oriented, and coming from a prominent footy Catholic school has really inspired me. I still have very close mates from Patrician Brothers, and having that team bond motivates me to train harder.
Parents Martha and Kruger Roache said they were disappointed at not being able to be in Japan to support their son, but feel blessed to witness such an incredible achievement.
“As people of faith, we believe that everything will work out for the best,” Martha Roache said.
“Most people wouldn’t understand how hard he has worked and as parents, that’s one aspect of why we are super proud of him … once he decided he wanted to play in the Olympics, he did whatever it took to make it.”
Peter Wade, principal of Patrician Brothers Fairfield, applauded Roache for his ability on and off the field.
“Dietrich, from a young age, was an electrifying athlete with ball skills and speed that often left the opposition grasping at thin air,” he said.
Cramsie is a writer and commentator for The Catholic Weekly, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Sydney.