The KR 4 (The Four series)

By John Rahme

Nineteen years ago, today I became a father for the first time. We named him after my father. Today my son Khalil rahme turned 19 years old. What I may write about Khalil Rahme could be easily taken as bias. Regardless of the opinion which you may already have formed or may form, I write the truth and that truth comes from my mind and heart. There isn’t a moment of time in which I can remember Khalil without having a rugby league ball with him or close to him. From the moment he rose running, kicking and tackling our dog was a daily ritual. So were broken windows. I was blessed that I was working with NRL teams and Khalil had a gold pass into first grade dressing sheds every week. At the age of 5 years old we had registered Khalil to play with a local rugby league club called De La Salle Caringbah. The night prior to his first every rugby league game he was as jumpy and excited, running through the house practising his moves. At 5am that morning, Khalil woke me up and told me that he was ready to go. I looked at my son who had put on a suit and was carrying a small bag with his footy gear tucked away inside of the bag. Khalil was used to watching Dad having to put on a game day suit and fill my bag full of game day related gear. Khalil was under the assumption that he was to wear a suit, we would drive him to the club where a bus awaited him and his team mates. They would get on the bus and drive him to a stadium with an awaiting audience of 40,000 people to watch him play. All at the age of 5 years old for his first ever rugby league game.

 

Without further ado, my 4 questions.

 

  1. When did you first ever think about and decide that one day you wanted to play in the NRL?

    I’ve known I’ve wanted to play in the NRL ever since I can remember. I’d say maybe 3/4 years old around the dressing rooms, being a ball boy for St George Illawarra Dragons. When I was with you and around that environment. I knew ever since then I’ve wanted to make the NRL.

    You have had some major setbacks with injuries. During those times, what were you thinking and what kept you headed towards your goal?

    Just keep going, there is people a lot worse off so stop complaining and keep going. I’ve worked this hard so far so why stop? It’s all I’ve ever wanted, so stop complaining and keep going.

    3. Describe the moment to us when the head coach Rick Stone told you that he was going to play for the Lebanese first grade side?

    It was like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders, it was like my work had paid off in a way. It’s all I’ve ever wanted and to see something come my way for once. It really meant a lot to me personally.

    4. What did represent Lebanon really mean for you?

    It meant representing my heritage, my culture, my family. Just putting that jersey on meant that I was the first one in my family to wear that jersey. To represent all of them on that field, words can’t describe that feeling when on that field, and also meant a lot because I am named after my late grandfather and that was something so special as well to me.

 

Khalil has had a straight four years with season ending injuries which required an operation. During this period to add to his difficult situation I was also struck down with ill health. During these four or so years Khalil rehabilitated his injuries, got himself strong and fit again in order to follow his dream. Also, from the very first moment I fell ill, Khalil stepped up in a role which was meant for his future not his teens. He became the man of the house and made it his priority to look after Dad who was sick. Today on his birthday, he trained in preparation of his dream.

I don’t need to comment on my son’s character, because you already know it.

Happy Birthday my son.

 

john.rahme@neptune.net.au