by Grace Knight
Leaving school and moving interstate can be daunting for a teenager but for Thomas Ferguson, coming to Bond University was made easier by a little slice of familiarity.
Two of the constants in the 2023 Riewoldt Family AFL Excellence Scholarship recipient’s life have been footy and best mate Hugo Terzini.
So when he and Hugo rolled up for the Bull Sharks’ first night of pre-season training this week, it almost felt like home.
“I’m actually rooming up here with one of my best mates from home,” Ferguson said.
“We went to school together and have played footy together for a long time, so having him here is super exciting.”
The Riewoldt family scholarship is awarded annually to two students who demonstrate outstanding and current involvement with Australian rules football.
It has been a big shift from his stomping ground back in Melbourne but Ferguson, 18, is looking forward to settling into his new home on the Gold Coast to study a Bachelor of Business degree.
“It’s very exciting to finally be up here and also a pretty big honour to have received this scholarship, so I’m super grateful for the opportunity,” he said.
“Particularly after being stationed in Melbourne for the past couple of years during Covid, I’m excited to have the opportunity to play in a new climate and with a new group of people at Bond.”
Ferguson captained his high school football team at St Kevin’s College and played with the Oakleigh Chargers in the Victorian NAB League.
He developed his love for the game at a very young age and football has been a big part of his life ever since.
“I began playing my first kind of organised footy when I was five but I’ve really been interested in footy since before I can even remember,” he said.
“I think my love of footy was somewhat ingrained in me through my dad as he has always been my biggest supporter and encouraged me along the way which I am grateful for.”
The other Riewoldt Family AFL Excellence Scholarship recipient for 2023 is Jemma Blair of Tasmania.