Anzac Day and the Australian Rugby Sevens program

by Staff Writer

Saturday represents 100 years of the landing of ANZAC troops at Gallipoli in 1915. While our Australian Men's Sevens team will travel to Canberra to attend the Anzac Dawn Service on 25 April, the Women's side will have the opportunity to commemorate 100 years of ANZAC spirit when they attend Camp Gallipoli at Sydney's Centennial Park.

For two of the Australian Women's Sevens squad, the day will hold extra meaning. Mollie Gray is a proud member of the Australian Army as Corporal, serving her country in Afghanistan while Rachel Crothers is Officer Cadet in the Australian Defence Force.

“Anzac Day is the day that we as Australians join as one to remember our fallen and their sacrifices. We remember their courage, their bravery and their loyalty to our country. Their unwavering dedication to protecting our land and their families back home. We too remember the importance of family; of their support, their enduring love but also the heartbreak for those who have lost.

It is too a day to be thankful for the service of the men and women around Australia who every day put on their uniform, whether it be green, or blue, or white. We thank them. It is these brave men and women who have vowed to continue the legacy of the Anzacs and to protect our country. It is something that I am very proud to be a part of.

I take part in the dawn service every year so that I am able to honour all that have served, and are currently serving our nation.

I am proud to have served my country in Afghanistan on operations, I am proud to be a Corporal in the Australian Army, and I am proud to carry the legacy of the ANZAC."

Lest we forget

CPL Mollie Gray

"April 25th is the day we gather as a nation for one of the most important occasions of the year. We reflect on the different meanings of war, none of which are glorified. On this day we are reminded of the horrors of war, and that every battle has left children without fathers, brothers without sisters and mothers without sons. Anzac day is a day we are reminded of our debt to those that have served, those that are currently serving, and to those that have made the ultimate sacrifice.

People speak of the many characteristics that make up the Anzac spirit. Loyalty, bravery, strength, courage, mateship and larrikinism, all of which were shown by the Australian and New Zealand soldiers that stormed the stony shore of the Gallipoli Peninsula now a century ago. However, it is the characteristic of courage that speaks the loudest to me.

Men and women left their jobs as bakers, mechanics, labourers and clerks to protect our country, some merely days after war being declared. Their courage proved perseverance regardless of daunting odds, and the heart to continue to fight even though every instinct compelled one otherwise. Their courage controlled collective success and individual survival, and ultimately determined the freedom and quality of life we enjoy today.

I cannot fully understand the sacrifice, suffering or grief that our fighting men and women have endured, as I have not lived it, but I am proud to carry on the Anzac legacy, and humbled to hold up the pride that the name endures."

OFFCDT (Rachel) Crothers

Click here for more information to find out how Rugby is marking ANZAC Day.