Ipswich: Former rugby star Ellery Hanley inspires as Mr Motivator

IPSWICH: Rugby league superstar and Dancing on Ice contestant Ellery Hanley turned Mr Motivator at Ipswich Waterfront on Saturday.

The sporting icon sprinkled a little stardust during a day-long seminar at DanceEast entitled Inspired, in which he gave his audience an insight into the drive it took to be become the world’s best player.

Hanley said: “I was asked to come down to give a talk about discipline and how dance and sport are connected.

“When the passion is there for something, there is always a starting point. A child has to start somewhere and we have to nurture the children.

“People ask ‘how long did it take (for me to realise my dream)? How many hours did you train?’

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“But my talks do not always lend themselves towards becoming a sportsman, they lend themselves more towards becoming a great human being, whether that is in business, in sport or in life.

“I get a lot of reward and satisfaction from doing this because rugby league has given me everything. Without the game, you never know what path I might have gone down.

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“It’s been fantastic for me. It’s given me discipline and it’s given me everything in life.”

Listening to Hanley’s experiences and how he maintained his focus were representatives involved with dance from all over the country, including people from the English National Ballet and the Royal Ballet.

Assis Carreiro, artistic director and chief executive of DanceEast, said: “Having Ellery here is fantastic. There are many similarities between dance and sport.”

n Do you remember Hanley’s playing days? Can dance complement sport and vice versa? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or alternatively you can send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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