LAURENCE Pratt is living his dream.
The Dural father-of-two is a massage therapist and trainer with the Sydney Swans.
This is his third season with the team and he says he still pinches himself at games.
“I enjoy what I do,” he said. “I love working with people and making them feel better.”
As well as working with the Swans he does massage twice a week with the Parramatta Eels players and is also working with the New South Wales Swifts netballers.
It’s a big step away from the insurance job he held for 15 years before retraining as a massage therapist six years ago.
“I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing. I was earning good money in insurance but just wasn’t enjoying it.”
A keen sportsman, mainly rugby union and basketball, he was nursing several injuries and approaching his 30th birthday when his dad suggested he found a job involved in sport that did not involve playing.
“I had an operation on my knee and my shoulder in the space of six months.
“My uncle has been a massage therapist with the Parramatta Eeels for 20 years so I juggled work and training to be a therapist for several years.”
He has now been a massage therapist for six years and finds it a much better work/life balance.
He has become a big Aussie Rules fan whose players are ultra fit.
“Massage is an important part of their recovery program,” he said.
“They only get about six weeks off a year ... it’s a pretty gruelling process.
“It’s quite inspiring what they do on the field.”
He also has one of the best seats in the house to see the play in action - a “tough job” for a sports fan.