Sport has always been a big part of Richard Rowlings' life.
Fortunately for a fair chunk of it he has got to combine his sporting passion with work, firstly as a PE teacher and sports coordinator, and then as a Sports Coordination Officer with the North West Schools Sports Association and now the Hunter Schools Sports Association.
After 11 years in the role with North West, Rowlings started with the Hunter association late last year.
It has meant leaving the place he and his family - wife Megan and children Sam and Abby - have called home for the last 22 years after moving up to Tamworth from the Central Coast to take up a job as a PE teacher at Oxley High School.
Rowlings would go on to spend 11 years there.
In that time, he saw some special talent come through and he has enjoyed watching the likes of Erin Osborne, Matt Willis, Kate Jenner and Josh Hazlewood go on and represent their country.
He also enjoyed success with various teams he coached, which was a great thrill for him.
One that stands out is a girls' cricket side. At that time, girls cricket was only in it's infancy.
"We had four consecutive years where we made the semi-finals. We got a first, a second, a third, and a fourth," Rowlings said.
"To get to that level of the competition was really good."
Ready for a career change, and having thought it was something he "wouldn't mind doing one day", when the job with North West came up, he applied.
"I enjoyed my time there," he said.
The role took him all over the state, and exposed him to an array of different sports.
He also got to see North West athletes and teams not only achieve at the highest level, but achieve "at their own level".
It wasn't without it's challenges: the sheer expanse that the zone covered, for one. The comparably smaller numbers to draw from compared to a lot of the other associations also sometimes made it hard to be competitive.
"[But] What that did, when you were successful you appreciated it a bit more," he said.
He also enjoyed seeing some of the smaller schools excel in the small schools relays.
As for his own sporting pursuits, Rowlings has been prominent on the local cricket and oztag scenes.
He enjoyed a long association with the South Tamworth Cricket Club, captaining the first grade side and tasting premiership success.
He also played representative cricket for Tamworth and rates among his favourite memories the early days of the NRMA Cup (later the SCG Cup).
"I really enjoyed that, where you were playing a higher level of rep cricket," he said.
"Obviously winning the premierships as a player and then as a captain ... was obviously a thrill."
He also had the opportunity to play first grade cricket with his son, Sam, which was "a big thrill".
They played two seasons together, the prospect enticing Rowlings to play for a bit longer than he might have otherwise.
He hasn't quite packed away the pads yet, though, and has been one of the driving forces behind Tamworth over-50s cricket.
"I see it as a bit of a men's shed for blokes that aren't handy," he joked.
On the oztag field, he represented Tamworth as a state and national level, and even donned the green and gold back in 2013, which was another huge thrill.
"I enjoyed my time in Tamworth. I've got no regrets about my time here," he said.