A HISTORIC agreement between Rugby Australia and the Australian Army was inked at Paddington’s Victoria Barracks this month.
As a result of the deal, the peak body for rugby and the Army will share facilities and expertise on leadership development, performance under pressure and injury management.
Rugby is the first national sport to sign a relationship intent statement with the Australian Army.
The deal also supports the Buildcorp Wallaroos Pathways program. Raelene Castle, Rugby Australia chief executive, was joined by president of Australian Army Rugby Union Brigadier Ben James to sign the agreement. Brig James said there were exciting times ahead with the partnership which offers significant benefits to both the Australian Army and Rugby Australia.
“The formalisation of the relationship between the Australian Army and Rugby Australia recognises the deep and rich history between our two national institutions in addition to our shared values of courage, initiative, respect and teamwork,’” he said.
“Our people are our competitive advantage; and it’s our people — our soldiers and our athletes — who will most benefit from the key areas we’ve elected to pursue alongside Rugby Australia.” Ms Castle said the connection between Rugby and the defence force is steeped in over 100 years of history, and Rugby Australia was proud to officially join forces with the Australian Army: “this partnership will enable both organisations to build on the relationship between Rugby and the Army to share knowledge and resources and provide valuable support to improve performance of the athletes and operators across both of the national organisations”.
The Army has a long history of members playing representative rugby for Australia and current and former players present at the signing included former Wallaby Brigadier Bob Brown and current and former Wallaroos Corporal Mollie Gray, Captain Catherine Fairs, Captain Alisha Hewitt and Private Sarah Riordan. An estimated 5,000 Australian Rugby players saw active service in World War I.