Date: October 06, 2015
Author: Daniel Cencic

Balancing act for John

Balancing touring the world on the junior golf circuit while completing a three-year VCE isn’t your typical teenage life. 
But at 16 years of age, Rowville Secondary College’s Cameron John continues to shine on the world golf stage while excelling at his studies.

And all while winning the Victorian Junior Boys Championship and being selected for the School Sport All Australian Team to compete in Germany next year.
Last month saw John finish second at the Asia Pacific Junior Championship in Taiwan in team play with Gold Coast-based Becky Kay, and second overall in individual stroke play.  
John was also crowned champion at January’s St Luke’s Health Tasmanian Junior Masters.  
Carding rounds of 68, 74, 72 and 71, with a one-over-par total, the 16-year-old went on to win by six strokes.  
John, of the Rowville Sports Academy at the College’s Eastern Campus, has long had a keen interest in golf, and a drive to achieve academic and sporting success. 
RSA Head Golf Coach, Tim Wendel, remembers his first impression of John as a keen, fresh-faced year seven student at the Rowville Sports Academy. 
“I can remember when he first came to the school, we had a tournament season in the holidays and he was already wearing his uniform,” Wendel said.

“When you get them in early and teach them all the systems, they can start to get on a progressive trend.  
“(Cameron) has been highly coachable. He puts everything into his golf.”  
Many of the greatest athletes to have graced a sporting arena have all shared one trait – an undeniable, fierce competitive streak. 
Wendel believes the “highly coachable” John has embraced the training methodologies taught, including managing the competitive streak. 
“You’ve got to train it properly with the correct training methodology. It’s important to have two cycles of effort working simultaneously, you have to have an improvement cycle and as well as a performance cycle. He’s understood that really well.”   
The core of the Rowville Sports Academy’s values lies deep within the development of the athlete. 
Wendel has seen John grow and develop since the pair’s first meeting, eagerly fronting up in full College sports uniform during the holidays a number of years ago. 
“Coming from year seven through to year 12, he’s really growing all the time.  
“He’s been able to balance out the things that I’ve suggested to him, in terms of health and fitness, his technical development and his skill development, as well as looking forward to all that is to offer in the tournament schedule that he can play every year,” Wendel said.    
And aside from competing on the world stage at golf tournaments, teenage life, as it does for millions of other young Australians, remains eerily similar – a gauntlet of caution. 
Much like those athletes to have the aforementioned competitive streak, many had also made the right lifestyle choices in their crucial teenage years. 
But in an age of ever-evolving, ‘Big Brother-esque’ social media, making the right choices has never been so critical. 
“He makes really good choices. He’s not immune to all the things that all young people can get involved in nowadays, obviously with the unbelievable innovation of technology in their lifetime,” Wendel said.    
RSA Director, and College Assistant Principal, Craig Jamieson, has long been staunch on the Sports Academy and College mantra of academic education taking top priority. 
Cameron understands the importance of balancing his studies as well as his golfing career.
“He’s a great supporter of the school and the concept of the school. He wants to be seen to be capturing every opportunity he can but also he understands his role in getting his academics sorted out. He’s a very good self-manager,” Wendel said.   
“He runs tournament schedules for himself (and) discusses with his teachers when he’s going to be away. He’s also very young, he’s the youngest in his year level.” 
With its state-of-the-art facilities and renowned coaches, the Rowville Sports Academy provides unlimited opportunities to its students. 
For Cameron John, the opportunity provided by Rowville Secondary College’s Sports Academy has been one he has embraced.
“At the end of the day, the school is just a resource, and they’ve got to use that resource to hopefully realise their dreams, and Cameron is someone who has certainly done that,” Wendel said.