Marshall nominated for Sports Dad of the Year
Wests Tigers five-eighth Benji Marshall is one of ten finalists in the running to be named the 2018 Phillips Sports Dad of the Year.
Wests Tigers Premiership Winner and Life Member John Skandalis won the honour back in 2009, so let's make sure another Wests Tigers star picks up the award once more!
This year's nominated Sports Dads will be profiled on sportsdads.com.au which will include questions and answers from the players about their families, as well as comments from the athletes' family.
All voters have the opportunity to win special prizes for their own father this Father's Day, with the winning Philips Sports Dad of the Year receiving $5,000 to donate to their charity of choice.
The kid who has grown up before our eyes is now a 33-year-old father, who lives for his baby boy Fox.
"My life has completely changed," Benji says. "Everything I do revolves around Fox which I love and I feel like my purpose in life was to become a father. It is something I have wanted for a really long time and I can't actually remember life without Fox. It just feels so unbelievably great being a dad."
His wife Zoe went on to say "Benji's love and dedication to Fox is more than an asset, it's just the way he is. He loves the boys more than I've ever seen a man love a child.
"He is so thoughtful and funny and caring. He's always singing and playing the guitar to Fox. He takes over every afternoon and cooks all my dinners while feeding Fox, bathing him and settling him to bed."
Being a new dad how hard is it spending time away from the family during the season?
That is the hardest part by far. You just never want to be away from your baby and I cherish every moment with Fox that I have. Thank god for FaceTime.
Where you at his birth and how was it?
Yeah I was at the birth!!!! It is by far the single most amazing moment in my whole life. Witnessing my dream come true first hand and getting to be able to deliver him myself and give him to Zoe after I pulled him out was an amazing feeling. Also cutting the cord was something else. I was pretty busy throughout the labour with techniques I learnt through a course called she births to help Zoe cope through everything and make her feel as comfortable and supported as possible. I am proud of how I was able to contribute through it all.
I guess you've seen your partner in a whole new light?
Yeah I def have!!! I cannot be more proud of Zoe. She amazes me. Her strength and will throughout the birth was unbelievable. Women really are incredible and after going through the birth of Fox it just amazes me what the mind and body of women are capable of. It's a respect of another level that you cannot explain until you go through birth yourself.
What are your home duties with Benjamin?
Where do I start lol! We have a pretty solid routine with Fox. I get him up in the morning and change his nappy before I go to training then I get home at 2 and usually feed him his solids then put him down. Witching hour is usually 5-6 so I play with him and keep him entertained and usually get dinner cooked during that time for Zoe to eat at 5.45 then while she eats I bath him then hand him over for his night feed at 6pm. I also do the night shift where I watch his monitor and if he wakes or unsettles I deal with it.
What is your favourite activity with him?
My favourite thing with Fox is bath time for sure. It's the time where we get to bond just me and him and we play games and sing songs so it's always fun for him.
Do you have a any memorable moments with him at this early stage?
Yeah the first time I played the guitar and sung to him he really was intrigued by music and loved it so much. He even sings with me now.
Do you enjoy being a dad?
It is the thing I am most proud of in my life. You can never explain or understand what being a dad means until you actually are one. I feel very lucky to have a great wife who is an amazing mother to Fox and we work great as a team in parenting our son.
On game day, do you like to relax with the family or do they understand to keep away from you?
In my house football comes second now for sure so game days have definitely changed a lot. I used to have a strict routine that has gone out the window since we had Fox. But I wouldn't have it any other way and it really helps take your mind off footy as well.
If he was to take after you and become a professional sportsperson would you be comfortable with that, any advice for him?
Yeah of course!!! But he can become whatever he wants. I would be just as happy if he didn't want to be a professional sportsperson and wanted to go down the arts path like his mum. At the end of the day I will encourage him to try everything and then see what he enjoys the most. My advice would then be you get out what you put in so however great you want to be is up to you!!!!
Is Benji a hands on dad?
Beyond. He does it all. As well as looks after me. When we are in public or out at a dinner he has the baby. I'm lucky if I get a hold. He is so proud of his baby. He loves to push the pram, feed him, settle him - he does it all not only when at home but especially when we are out so I get a good break. I am beyond grateful. - Zoe