There are many reasons why rugby union is a great sport. There are specific reasons why it is my opinion that it is the greatest sport.
To me rugby is a game of discipline. Yes, there are a lot of rules, but this is what pushes you to both your physical and mental limit.
Each component of the game is a competition, at the ruck, in the line-out, in the scrum and in open play. These require stamina, strength, coordination and skill.
It is a sport for all body types and all cultures and races. Your team mates become your family and you develop a trust by putting your body on the line for each other.
When I step out on the field, to play or even just to train, my mind becomes clear and the weight of the world is lifted from my shoulders. No matter what is going on in life, rugby is an escape I appreciate more than I can express.
More than great players, this game develops great people.
If you are curious to delve deeper into the culture that is rugby union, I highly recommend listening to the podcast by All Black Ardie Savea! https://ardiesavea.libsyn.com/
Cover photo credit James Cromie Media
Northern Saints Rugby
I have played rugby most my life. I grew up in the Sydney suburb of St. Ives, so played for the St. Ives Rugby Club as a junior.
During high school, I played for school. During my first year of university, I became mates with a bloke who was playing for my old club St. Ives – this bloke went on to become the Club Captain a few years down the road. It took no convincing to get me singed up the next season.
In 2018, things were not looking good for St. Ives Rugby. This was a too familiar theme for many local union clubs across the state. Instead of voicing my opinion as to why this was the case, I’d like to outline what we did change things for the better.
For a while there was talk of a club merger with the likes of Brothers Rugby or a name change, both with various political challenges. Eventually, the time for talk had ended and action was needed. A couple of the guys who are pretty much part of the clubhouse furniture met up at the pub after the 2018 season. It was decided we would try move forward with starting a new club, with a new name, under the umbrella of the St. Ives Rugby Football Club brand. This required the agreement of a financial contribution from all the blokes there at the pub, binding us as the new clubs ‘foundation members’. The next step was pitching our plan for the club restructure at the next, and might I add tense, AGM. As expected, there was strong resistance to the idea. Luckily the majority of members understood that this was the best way forward to keep the club they love from dissolving entirely and the votes allowed us to execute our plan.
This is how Northern Saints Rugby was born.
I was voted in as Club Secretary, despite being told it was the shittiest of all the rolls of the office bearers on the management committee, I was excited about the opportunity to help make my mark by doing what I can to grow the game I love.
The result of the effort put in by this new management committee was evident in the outcome of the Northern Saints debut season in 2019. The club saw its highest number of newly recruited players, the largest home crowds and the most talked about social events in many years! With the new club working its way out of financial trouble, we could finally afford to make much needed upgrades to what was already commonly known as “the best clubhouse in Suburban Rugby”! This could not have been possible without the dedication of many volunteers, my dad included.
It was also a year where the club gave back to the community. One of the way it did so was through a partnership with Jeans for Genes. This was made easier by the fact that I work for CMRI (see my science page for more), the institute that is funded by the Jeans for Genes charity. My within the institute is lucky enough to be funded by grants, however, there is so much other amazing research that goes on that need financial support – I can tell you, medical research in Australia does not get the government funding it deserves. I know this page is about rugby, but this is all relevant as it has been so rewarding for me to combine two of my greatest passions in a mutually beneficial way.
In 2019, the Northern Saints raised over $9000 for Jeans for Genes and the Children’s Medical Research Institute. Just as importantly, it provided an avenue for raising awareness about medical research. Head over to my ‘Press’ page for some of the media coverage that aided build awareness.
As well as having donation boxes placed in the club canteen and bar, there were two main social events that helped us achieve the money raised. The first was hosting a comedy night at the clubhouse through the ‘Comedy for a Cause’ initiative. The second was by the country’s first ever sporting ‘Denim Round’.
The Denim Round saw the clubs first grade team wear a custom made denim print jersey, with the jerseys auctioned off, with bids starting before the game, and finishing once they were worn and soaked in the fluids of the rugby field, with all the winnings donated to Jeans for Genes. The club plans to make this an annual tradition, with a fresh design each year. You can find a framed jersey from the debut round hanging in the clubhouse.
If you would like to donate, please visit the Northern Saints Rugby fundraiser profile on the Jeans for Genes Website:
All funds raised go directly to the institute.
For anyone interested to join the club, email firstname.lastname@example.org