Thursday Island might be small in size, but it's big in its support for Rugby

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By ARU Media Unit

With a population of 2,546, this little island of only 3.5 square kilometres last week welcomed three excited visitors. Injured Qantas Wallaby David Pocock, with wife Emma, and indigenous player and former Wallaby Glen Ella caught three planes and a boat to reach the administrative and commercial centre of the Torres Strait Islands, Thursday Island. 

The group was there to visit Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Primary School, whose creative Walla Rugby Week entry truly embodied the sport both on and off the pitch. In addition to a visit from a Wallaby, the school won a signed 2012 Wallabies Jersey and Samsung Camcorder.
Walla Rugby Week is ARU’s annual National School Participation program encouraging students to get fit and healthy by playing at least 40 minutes of touch Rugby throughout the week, with teachers encouraged to use Rugby as the theme throughout their curriculum.
Entries varied from schools performing the history of the British & Irish Lions or re-enacting famous Rugby moments in their drama class, to creating a new mascot or jersey design for their favourite team.
This primary school of 150 students held a Tri-Nations tournament and Thursday Island welcomed Australia, New Zealand and South Africa to battle it out.
Year one and two students learned about the different countries competing while the prep children painted stories of their experiences. The elements of teamwork emanated throughout the week as students participated in team-building activities, strengthening both teamwork and sportsmanship. 
During the afternoons, the older children coached the younger ones on skills ranging from passing to working as a team. The year seven students made banners hung around the school, promoting the event to both students and parents. 
Everybody had a role in making this week successful. Even injured students played an important role as timers, scorers, linesmen and water friends. As the children trained in the local park, community members joined in on the festivities. 
The visit coincided with National Reconciliation Week and the launch of the ARU’s Reconciliation Action Plan.
Check out the media coverage.



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