Sharks prop and current team captain Aaron Woods, recently a father for the second time, is among 10 elite Australian athletes vying for the Sports Dad of the Year award.
Now in its 13th year and set to be announced on Father's Day, Sunday, September 5, the award showcases the contribution Australia's sporting stars make to their families both on and off the field.
Last years winner was Rabbitohs half back Adam Reynolds who donated his winnings to Save our Sons, an organisation fighting to find a cure to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Following the birth of his daughter Coco just days before the NRL relocated to Queensland and a COVID bubble, Woods headed to Brisbane with the Sharks, while wife Sarah, two-year-old son Buster and his newborn entered into a two-week quarantine.
Since reunited with his wife and two children, Woods remains integral to the Sharks chances of qualifying for a seventh consecutive NRL Finals series, however rugby league has been put into perspective with his young family now a major priority.
“Life has completely changed….it’s obviously not about me anymore,” Woods said. “I prefer it that way to tell you the truth. My Dad wasn’t around when I was young and I want the opposite to be true for my kids”.
“Aaron is very hands on, he actually delivered Coco which was very special,” wife Sarah said. “As a family we decided to induce Coco two weeks early so Aaron could enter the NRL bubble this year at very short notice.
“It was difficult because he left literally the morning after she was born…he’s very supportive, happy and excited to be a dad,” Sarah added.
This year's nominated Sports Dads are profiled on sportsdads.com.au which will include questions and answers from the players about their families, as well as comments from the respective families.
All voters have the opportunity to win special prizes for their own father this Father's Day, with the winning Philips Sports Dad of the Year receiving $5,000 to donate to their charity of choice.
This years other finalists for the award are some of Woods’ NRL colleagues in Daly Cherry-Evans, Dale Finucane and Thomas Burgess, while flying the flag for the AFL is Melbourne forward Ben Brown and Mitch Robinson from the Brisbane Lions.
Wallabies flyer Marika Koroibete, popular Supercars driver Dave Reynolds, along with Tokyo Olympians, including BMX gold medalist Logan Martin and Australian hockey star Jake Whetton are amongst the other nominees.
Vote now for Aaron at sportsdads.com.au
Voting closes on Tuesday, August 31, with the Sports Dad of the Year winner to be announced on Father's Day.