Class of 2009 – Brenton Jones
Class of 2009 Alumnus, Brenton Jones, started at St Paul’s in Year 4 when he was eight years old. He still remembers his first teachers Mrs Janne McFadyen, Mr Norm McLennan and Mrs Robyn Baker. Brenton is now a Professional Cyclist living in Europe.
During his time at St Paul’s Brenton loved participating in many sports and co-curricular activities from interschool competitions to state level events with his sporting teams. He was Navy House Captain in the Junior School and Chisholm House Captain in the Secondary School both of which gave him the opportunity to be a role model to younger students. Over time he also helped to develop a cycling team to compete in many competitions and organised fun events for students to take part in.
One of Brenton’s stand out achievements whilst at St Paul’s was being awarded a ‘triple colour’ award in his final years at school in recognition for his service to the school in a number of areas.
We asked Brenton a few questions about his time after St Paul’s…
What has your pathway been since graduating?
“Following my completion of VCE in 2009, I was given the opportunity to study a Certificate 3 and 4 in Sport and Recreation whilst working at the school as one of two sports trainees in 2010. I had a great time, it was fun to work on the other side of the school as a staff member and I was passionate about the work I was able to accomplish. Following my sports traineeship I wanted to follow my dream of becoming a professional cyclist, despite a very big crash in 2011, which almost ended it all, I bounced back to work harder than ever and was committed to reaching what I set out to achieve on the bike. Fast forward to now, I’m living in Europe, racing as a professional cyclist, travelling the world as my day job and loving every minute!”
What do you enjoy most about your current occupation?
“The freedom I get from riding my bike, doing what I love and the many experiences I gain from it along the way, each year is different and I have visited so much of the world at the age of 25. It’s a great lifestyle and the rewards like travelling the world or new products from my sponsors and team is what I work for everyday and enjoy most.”
Why did you choose this field?
“I liked the challenges and loved to dream that one day I could make a living from my hobby. I’m passionate about fitness, sport and cycling, so naturally I was focused to see how far I could go with it.”
What do you find most challenging about what you do now?
“The sacrifices, there are so many. The “discipline, it’s a constant battle and you have to maintain it 24/7. Everything you do is going to either assist or be a determent to your performance so keeping consistent and disciplined can be a challenge sometimes.”
What training/course was required to get to that field?
“Many years of hard work and training has seen my talent develop and my ability on the bike rise to a level where I can make a sustainable future in the sport of cycling, it’s my dream job. I have been training full-time since I was 16 years old, dedicating countless hours on and off the bike since then to improve my performance.”
What or who influenced you to take this path?
“My Dad definitely showed me the path onto the bikes, encouraging me in many sports but allowing me to see my potential and passion that I found in the sport of cycling. I looked up to my role models, ex-Professional Australian riders who I used to watch compete in the big races and who inspired me to chase the dreams I had in cycling.”
Outside of work Brenton loves to cook and shop for healthy fresh ingredients. “It’s a passion of mine and I find enjoyment from cooking great meals or baking cakes or slices for others”. He also loves watching sport and is a passionate Sydney Swans, Manchester United and Melbourne Storm supporter. Brenton loves to teach and help others learn the basics in riding a bike, a life skill. When he is home in Australia he tries to be involved in as many cycling skills clinics as he can that have a big focus on developing the next generation of stars.
Brenton has many fond memories of St Paul’s and he remembers being nervous and excited at the same time when he graduated from the Junior School and transitioned to being a “big kid” in the Secondary School.
When asked about favourite teachers, Brenton said “I had favourites of course, but I got along well with most of my teachers and that’s something I liked from St Paul’s. Being an aspiring athlete at the time, I was a little bit different to the majority of students who focused on the academic side and I’ll be honest and say it wasn’t my strongest point but I had many teachers who supported and encouraged my career pursuits and it’s thanks to them that I am living my dream today. I spent a lot of my final schooling years working with Mrs Bethany Kemp-Esmore (Thearle) and Mr Peter Bruce who supported me through my VCE years and helped me to manage my studies around travel, training and representing Australia in overseas competition.”
Brenton also believes that he developed his public speaking confidence whilst at school. “I love to engage in any media opportunities and am not afraid of the TV camera or a radio interview live to air. I remember initially getting nervous holding a house assembly as Chisholm House Captain, but my confidence grew having the many public speaking opportunities at school.”
Brenton describes his time at St Paul’s as “friendly and welcoming”. “The school offers fantastic opportunities for students to further themselves in their chosen career path, whether that is in sport, a trade or preparing them for further education. Its facilities were a highlight for me too, offering great space for sport or lunchtime activities and quiet classrooms or libraries for study and focused tasks.”
Brenton still stays in contact with St Paul’s today and has visited both Junior School and Secondary students to provide valuable advice from his own experience of being a professional athlete.
“I really like what St Paul’s and Mr Scott Armour have done to develop the St Paul’s Elite Sports Program, it is a great program assisting the talented athletes that attend the school. Juggling school work and sport training is tough and I know how hard the final years can be, it’s great to see the school producing a support network for its young athletes and help them overcome set backs in chasing their dreams.”