Life beyond Radford

Last updated 14.08.2018

David Dawson

Class of 1999
OCCUPATION Owner and Coach Pro Performance Cricket
Lives Sydney, Australia
Attendance at radford Years 7-12
House Karri
View more
View less

What does life look for you now?

I live in Sydney and have a young family (2 boys) that keep me on my toes, so family life is busy but a lot of fun watching them grow up.
I own and run a Cricket coaching company called Pro Performance Cricket ( for a few years now, since I stopped playing cricket professionally (for Tasmania and then New South Wales).We operate in Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane.
Between playing Cricket professionally I worked in Corporate Health and studied Psychology at UNSW.

Do you have a particular role model or inspirational figure from Radford or now?

It’s hard to pin point an individual from Radford so I’m going to sit on the fence and say it’s all the people at the school that made the place special for me. I have fond memories of staff like Crash Craddock, George Huitker, Quentin Webster and Graeme Wigg. However I feel a connection to any student or staff member who was at the school when I attended in a nostalgic, friendly and familiar way. I feel like we are friends even if I perhaps haven’t spoken to them in many years.

How easy was it to decide what to do in life?

I was pretty focussed on cricket from around the age of 14 or so. However my parents are pretty academic so I tried to keep my options open in other areas to ensure I always had a back up plan if things didn’t work out. I deferred from doing Physiotherapy at Sydney Uni straight after school and went to the The Australian Cricket Academy for a year in Adelaide (now called The Centre for Excellence) – a youth development school for promising, young cricketers. From there I got contracted to Tasmania and then to NSW and was in those professional cricket systems for quite a few years. I also studied Psychology at UNSW once I moved to Sydney and worked in Corporate Health between my cricketing contracts.

Did your further study or career go exactly as you'd planned?

Not exactly, I never thought I would be a cricket coach as such but it was an easy fit after my playing career. I was never rigid in my long-term planning, but I knew I always wanted to play professional cricket. I’m not sure anything always goes exactly as planned, I believe it’s best to remain flexible and open to whatever opportunities may arise in the future and if you back your ability, stay positive and optimistic and take every set back as an opportunity to grow and be better then you can’t really lose.

What advice do you have for current students?

It’s easy to say 20 years on but try not to worry too much about the small stuff and your grades / UAI isn’t the be all and end all. For me looking back school was about the learning and developing the character traits and the life skills that help you to succeed in all areas of your life be it academically, relationships, business, sport etc.
For me success is about backing what you are passionate about, developing strong relationships and friendships and being determined to stick through the inevitable adversity that life can throw at you from time to time.
I think it’s healthy to realise that you can get caught in little network bubbles throughout your life – for me it was a professional cricket bubble, school bubble, work bubbles etc. I try to remind myself to look outside the current bubble and realise that there is a bigger world out there.
Doing this allows you to get a different perspective on the world and helps to create empathy and understanding for others. This helps to crystalise what is truely important like family and friendships

Anything else that you would like to share?

If you’ve been lucky enough to attend Radford College I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you’ve had a pretty good head start in life compared to most. So whatever it is that you are passionate about - chase it with everything that you’ve got. Don’t take this advantage for granted - be grateful and back yourself to achieve all that you dream of and look to make a difference in the world.

Where are you now?