Scotland international tight-head prop Geoff Cross has said that a PE teacher in the Borders was central to his decision to play professional rugby.
Geoff grew up in the Borders and attended Galashiels Academy from 1994 to 2000. He flew through his exams at secondary school and went on to qualify as a doctor.
But in 2003, Geoff decided to pursue his other vocational passion, rugby. With the encouragement of his former PE teacher Rob Moffat, he decided to play the sport professionally and has since gone on to win 40 international caps.
He said the highlight of his career so far was scoring a try against the All Blacks during a 2012 EMC Test match, as well as being selected to be part of the 2011 World Cup squad.
Recalling early inspiration at Galashiels Academy, Geoff said: “I was an all-rounder at school. I enjoyed maths and geography just as much as I enjoyed sport. They taught me to think in a clear and structured way and have enabled me to tackle challenges logically ever since – I still use this way of thinking today to develop play strategies, which help with getting out of a fix on the pitch.”
He was inspired by Rob Moffat to follow his interest in sport ... the PE teacher created an environment in which young players could thrive and enjoy the camaraderie of team sports.
Rob, who taught sport for 18 years and has coached professional rugby for 14, said: “Geoff is a prime example of a determined bright young man who has always challenged himself to do better and very much deserves his international rugby career.
“He has a fantastic attitude and has done so well – he always could run hard with the ball.”
Geoff is currently enjoying living in London with his family, while playing for London Irish in the English Premiership.
He plans to return to practicing as a doctor once he has hung up his rugby boots.
For more information about a career in teaching visit www.teachinscotland.org/