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Rugby Australia has today launched phase two of the #PartofMore campaign through unveiling another nine short films captured right across the country.
From small towns in Tasmania to coastal regions in Western Australia, each one shares the triumphs and challenges people have overcome through the power of Rugby.
Several stories follow personal victories such as Sydney teenager Oska who found acceptance with the NSW Waratahs, whilst others centre around significant tournaments such as the Bloody Slow Cup held in honour of four fallen police officers.
Chief Executive at Rugby Australia Raelene Castle said: ‘’This campaign aims to recognise and showcase the hard work of our Rugby community who are the heart and soul of the game.
‘’Following the launch of the first series in March 2018, we were overwhelmed with people writing in to share their experiences and special connection to Rugby.
‘’We made a commitment to continue to share these testimonies and this time narrowed it down to nine very different stories which shine the light on all influencers in the game including players, coaches, referees and volunteers,’’ said Castle.
The short films were completed in partnership with CHUCK Media Co. who are a Sydney based digital agency.
The Burnie Emus Rugby Club have had their fair share of battles. In the early 1990’s the club was forced into a hiatus following the close of Burnie’s famous paper mill which led to thousands of people leaving town. Six years on a small group of passionate volunteers brought the club back to life and although some seasons it’s a struggle to field a full team, it doesn’t keep them from playing.
The Pilbara, Western Australia
On January 26, 2001 four Western Australian police officers lost their lives in a plane crash. In honour of these men the Newman town rallied together and created the annual Bloody Slow Cup. The tournament now attracts more than half the town’s 6,000 residents and each October raises around $100,000 for WA Police Legacy.
Hughenden, Central Queensland
The Hughenden 7s has transformed from a one-off event into a sought-after tradition. Situated 400km west of Townsville, the tournament brings in more than three hundred people to the small town with some players travelling up to 13 hours just to be part of the magic.
Adelaide, South Australia
Lawyer Kim Evans is on a mission to help grow women’s Rugby in South Australia which led to her winning the bid to create a University Sevens team. Since the Adelaide Romas debuted in 2017, female participation interest has doubled, and it’s sparked junior Sevens competitions right across the state.
Oakhurst, Western Sydney
Ezeikal Oto is one of the youngest aspiring referees in Australia. The eager 13-year-old spends his spare time lending a hand at the Western Raptors Rugby Club in Western Sydney. On weekends he helps referee the junior teams with a goal to one day officiate Australia and New Zealand.
Flinders Shire, Central Queensland
Twelve months ago there weren’t many opportunities for young women to play sport in the Flinders Shire region. This prompted Donny and Jordan to start up the Flinders Heat Rugby Sevens team which created a ripple effect of support in their local community.
Albany, Western Australia
Georgia Crosby doesn’t let her postcode stop her from reaching her dreams. The 17-year-old embarks on a gruelling nine hour round trip from Albany to Perth to train with WA Rugby. The upcoming star has now made her mark in both Sevens and Fifteens and is determined to represent Australia.
A passionate team of teachers and coaches have helped bring Rugby back to life at Hutchins School in Hobart. Now there is a clear pathway for students to transition from school to club which has created lasting friendships and a much deeper connection to the game.
Sydney, New South Wales
The NSW Waratahs took teenager Oska under their wing after hearing about the challenges he faced at school. Several months into the internship Oska transformed from a timid teenager into a confident young adult who now has a purpose and whole new focus.