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By Community Rugby, ARU Media Unit
Qantas Walla Rugby Week is set for kick-off on Monday with a record-breaking number of students registered to participate in the third instalment of the popular school based program.
More than 43,000 students from 275 schools across Australia are set to be part of the week long program that begins on Monday 12 September and runs until Friday 16 September in the build up to the Wallabies’ match against Ireland in New Zealand.
The massive nationwide response will see more than double the number of pupils taking part in 2011 compared to last year.
The Walla Rugby Week program is run through schools across Australia and aims to introduce all students to the healthy enjoyable option of non-impact Rugby through a fun, innovative and rewarding program.
Schools are encouraged to adopt lesson plans that are available from the www.rugby.com.au website and run Rugby competitions with prizes on offer to schools that show the most initiative in participating throughout the week.
The first instalment of Walla Rugby week was held in 2009 when more than 15,000 school students took part in the program. That number grew in 2010 with nearly 21,000 students from more than 170 schools across Australia joining in the fun.
ARU Managing Director and CEO, John O’Neill AO, said the level of excitement for Rugby and the Wallabies in 2011 was reflected in the record number of schools and students registered to take part.
“This has already been a huge year for Rugby and the Qantas Wallabies and the buzz continues to build in Australia and around the world as our Men of Gold, now campaign in New Zealand for the game’s greatest prize,” Mr O’Neill said.
“Layered on top of that we have more than double the number of students experiencing and enjoying Qantas Walla Rugby week in 2011 than last year, which is great news for the game.
“For the last two years our participation numbers across Rugby at a grassroots level have increased and in some part that is thanks to programs like Walla Rugby week, which provide a large cross section of the school community with an opportunity to experience the fun and excitement of our game.
“Walla Rugby Week in 2011 will not only provide another wonderful experience for school students across the country but it will also allow more people to get involved and support the Qantas Wallabies in their quest to become the number one Rugby team in the world.”
Mr O’Neill also thanked Qantas for their support of the Walla Rugby Week program in 2011.
“This year Qantas have come on board to support the week long program and we are very grateful for their ongoing commitment to Rugby at all levels across Australia,” Mr O’Neill said.
“Qantas’ decision to support Walla Rugby Week extends their extensive commitment to Rugby in Australia, from the grassroots to the elite level where Qantas have been the long-standing naming rights partner of the Qantas Wallabies.
“In large part it is thanks to the support of ARU’s partners that key community programs such as Walla Rugby week can continue to be run and grown across the country every year.”
Qantas Group Executive Commercial, Mr Rob Gurney, said Qantas was proud to extend its support of Rugby in Australia from the elite level to the grassroots through the Qantas Walla Rugby Week Program.
“Qantas is excited to play a role in helping more school students across Australia experience the excitement Rugby and Qantas Walla Rugby Week has to offer,” Mr Gurney said.
“To have doubled the number of students registered this year compared to 2010 is fantastic and we are very pleased to be able to help deliver this great program to so many schools and students across the country.
“We are also very supportive of the educational value that Walla Rugby Week presents with lesson plans and other Rugby related educational tools used in schools throughout the week as a way of providing students with a fun alternate way to learning.
“Supporting the 2011 Qantas Walla Rugby Week program will provide more students across Australia with an opportunity to experience Rugby and help build greater support for the Qantas Wallabies as they take on the world in New Zealand.”
As with previous years there will be great prizes are on offer for participating schools, including Panasonic gear and Qantas Wallabies school visits.
Prizes on offer in 2011 include*:
• First Prize: A Qantas Wallaby player visit to the winning school, a Signed Qantas Wallabies Jersey, Panasonic Projector PT-LB2 (Valued at $965), Panasonic Camcorder SDR-S71GN-K (valued at $300), 8GB SD Card (Valued at $99.95), Rugby fitness pack.
• Second Prize: A Panasonic Projector PT-LB2 (valued at $965), a signed Qantas Wallabies Jersey; Panasonic Camera DMC-FT3 (valued at $599), Rugby fitness Pack.
• Third Prize: A signed Qantas Wallabies Ball, Panasonic Rugged Camera/Camcorder DMC-FT3 (valued at $599), a 4GB SD Card (valued at $49.95).
• Fourth Prize: A Panasonic MultiMedia Camera HM-TA2GN (valued at $249), a 4GB SD Card (valued at $49.95).
• Fifth Prize: A Panasonic MultiMedia Camera HM-TA2GN (valued at $249), a 4GB SD Card (valued at $49.95).
In addition, schools will earn FREE Rugby equipment for taking part in Qantas Walla Rugby Week and participating in at least 40 minutes of modified rugby games.
Lesson plans and ideas will be provided to teachers, and combined with the equipment, schools will have everything they need to run the program and get their students active with Rugby games.
For more information on Qantas Walla Rugby week in 2011 visit www.rugby.com.au/edrugby or call (02) 9323 3454.