Calling the Australian Rugby community!
• Do you know a coach who has devoted years of service to Rugby in the community?
• Have you witnessed an individual giving up their time in rain, hail or shine as a coach?
• Or maybe there is a coach in your club who demonstrates passion, integrity, discipline, respect and teamwork?
The Australian Rugby Union and Asteron Life Insurance, naming rights partner of Super Rugby in Australia, are looking for the next Community Coach of the Year - and your help is needed. Now in its second year, nominations are open for the award, closing 10 July.
Rain, hail or shine the club coach is there, giving their all and expecting little in return. The Asteron Life Community Coach of the Year will be someone who celebrates integrity, discipline, respect and teamwork.
In 2014, Sila Tuangakava won the Community Coach of the Year award for his work as coach and community volunteer in disadvantaged areas of western Sydney. To celebrate his achievement and coincide with the launch of this year’s competition, Qantas Wallabies Head Coach Michael Cheika paid a surprise visit to Tuangakava’s club in Penrith to lead an impromptu coaching session.
The Asteron Life Community Coach of the Year was created to recognise the thousands of coaches who selflessly give their time to develop Rugby talent in their communities. Without these coaches, who forgo many of their weekends and nights to mentor our young players, our elite players wouldn’t be where they are today.
The winner will receive their award at the John Eales Medal on 27 August, winning a cash grant for their club and a special visit from the Qantas Wallabies Head Coach.
Mark Vilo, Executive Manager, Asteron Life said it was vital to recognise the value of community rugby.
“We are so proud of the Asteron Life Community Coach of the Year program and thrilled to support community rugby in Australia. Last year’s community coach nominations were truly inspiring and this is a great way to recognise the hard work of coaches who give up so much of their time for the game – for today and tomorrow’s players”.
Qantas Wallabies Head Coach Michael Cheika has given his backing to the initiative: "This award is a fantastic opportunity for the ARU and Asteron Life to recognise the great commitment of our coaches within local communities.
“During the week I was able to see first hand the passion of some of Rugby’s local coaches in Western Sydney. It’s these people who are the lifeblood of our sport.
"This award is about celebrating the local unsung heroes like Sila, who never ask for anything in return and giving them something back for their contribution.”
Last year’s winner Sila Tuangakava demonstrated an incredible commitment as the coach of the Western Raptors Under 12s, Penrith District Junior Rugby Union Under 12s representative team. He also coached the Penrith First Grade Colts and was the Vice-President of the Western Raptors Junior Rugby Union Club.
Tuangakava said: "Working in Rugby is a passion of mine and to win last year's award was truly humbling. I do what I do because the community and all of the youngsters in those disadvantaged areas need a coach and mentor - someone to look up to and lead them on the right path.
"I feel it's an incredible privilege for me to be that mentor and to help the community."
The winner of the 2015 Asteron Life Community Coach of the Year will show a solid demonstration of community Rugby contribution, a contribution to Rugby within their state/territory up to and including July 2015 and a demonstration of core values: Passion, integrity, discipline, respect, teamwork.
A panel, including Qantas Wallabies Head Coach Michael Cheika, will choose the final winner.
To nominate for the 2015 Asteron Life Community Coach of the Year, head to: http://asteronlifesuperrugby.com