“Being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there. It’s not about winning. It’s about you and your relationship with yourself, your family and your friends. Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn’t let them down because you told them the truth. And that truth is you did everything you could. There wasn’t one more thing you could’ve done. Can you live in that moment as best you can, with clear eyes, and love in your heart, with joy in your heart? If you can do that gentleman, you’re perfect.”
With a firm handshake and a peaceful smile, Tim Leahy walks out the door at SUSF with one last piece of advice that’ll never leave me, “Always be yourself, Maxy”.
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Timmy long before we crossed paths again in Sydney. Our Dads grew up best mates together in the country town of Bathurst and still are best mates to this day. I remember the school holidays of 1999 where Tim would come over and we would muck about for hours on end, throwing me tennis balls for hours to work on my straight drives. Never mind the 14 year age gap, to me he was just another brother.
He began his career at the Sydney University Football Club in 2006 and has left behind him a legacy which will last a generation. A humble, country boy, he earned his nickname ‘Mustard’ through his enthusiasm, keenness to get involved and make a difference. His dedication to make athletes improve off the field, more so than on the field, is the reason why so many people who have trained under him have reached their potential and beyond.
The influence he had around SUFC was immense and people began to notice. Companies such as Ascend Sport and Men’s Fitness Magazine wrote articles on Leahy’s training programs and philosophies; whatever he was doing was certainly working. On the field, Uni would win five 1st Grade premierships under his direction in the gym.
You knew what you were getting into if Mustard was in charge of your session in the gym, you needed to be ready to have a proper crack. I must have heard him say “Apply yourself and you’ll see results” at least a hundred times, a philosophy which he was big on. His drive was unique and he had an aura about him which was unparalleled to anyone I’ve ever met.
Away from the gym, he was driven just as much. He prided himself on his ability to keep learning and always improve himself on areas which he saw as weaknesses. It was this attitude – to constantly improve and face your fears rather than turn and run from them – which helped Sydney University Football Club’s work ethic reach its renowned heights today.
Leahy has been the unsung hero of that driving force and something tells me that’s just the way he would like it. No flashy swansongs, no whoop-de-doo. Just business.
Speak to anyone that has had an affiliation with Mustard and these words constantly reverberate from wall to wall, “honesty, discipline, respect, integrity”. It doesn’t take much to see what kind of regard those who knew him best held of him, just a quick glance at his Facebook wall does the trick.
“Your legacy in this place will never be lost. You’re a once in a lifetime friend, practitioner and bloke. All the best for the next stage of life.” This one coming from lifelong friend Tom Carter.
Tim, from everyone at Sydney University Football Club, Sydney University Sport and Fitness and any other club which has benefitted from your skills, thank you. You have made us not just better athletes, but better people for knowing you. Your legacy will live on for many years to come. The Arena gym won’t be the same without you.
If you ever feel like returning to the stopwatch at SUFC, we’ll have it waiting for you.