Author, poet, sports commentator and member of the Australian Sudoku team

Growing up, Mick Colliss dreamed of playing for Australia. He competed in everything from rugby union to lawn balls, but wasn’t good enough at any of the sports he tried. Then, when all hope seemed lost, he discovered sudoku, the addictive 9×9 grid puzzle that appears on a daily basis in nearly every newspaper around the world.

He wasn’t any good at that either. In fact, he’d never even completed a sudoku puzzle. But it didn’t stop him picking himself and three rugby mates in the Australian Sudoku team, and travelling to India to represent his country at the World Sudoku Championships.

Mick’s story is uniquely Australian. As funny as it is inspiring, it’s about having a go and living your dream. It’s about making the most of your opportunities, overcoming a lack of talent, embracing failure and never giving up, despite how high the odds are stacked against you.

“There is no such thing as failure. Sure, I may have finished 89th out of 89 at the world sudoku championships, but that’s 89th in the world. That’s like 89th out of 6 billion. I’ll take that any day.”

Mick Colliss is also known as “The Poem Guy”. His poetry has been recited on 2UE, 6PR, ABC, Channel 10 and Channel 7 and published in The Sydney Morning Herald, The West Australian, The Sunday Times, Rugby League Week and Rugby News. He was awarded ‘Best Sports Poem in 2002’ by SMH columnist and best selling author, Peter FitzSimons.

Mick has performed at numerous functions including the Carlton-Mid Derby Lunch; the West Coast Eagles ten year premiership anniversary; lunches and dinners before rugby test matches in Perth and Sydney; the Sandover Medal award ceremony and at the dinner to decide WA’s Greatest Ever Sports Star.

Originally from Sydney, Mick moved to Perth in 1988 to study and play rugby at the University of Western Australia. A keen sports fan, Mick competed in surf lifesaving ironman events and represented Western Australia in rugby union. He also vice-captained Australia at the World Sudoku Championships in 2008. A rugby commentator on Perth radio 6PR in his spare time, Mick is married with two young boys and by day is a Director of Cooch Creative, a regional advertising and marketing consultancy based in Wembley.

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