Sila Tuangakava wins 2014 Asteron Life Community Coach of the Year award

by staff

Australian Rugby Union is delighted to announce that Sila Tuangakava from the Western Raptors Junior Rugby Union and Penrith District Junior Rugby Union has been named the 2014 Asteron Life Community Coach of the Year.

He is one of over 18,000 coaches across Australia who selflessly gives their time to develop the next tier of Rugby talent in their respective community.

Sila was on hand at Rugby's blue ribbon event, the John Eales Medal, alongside finalists Scott Forester (Clontarf Beach State High School) and Simon Bennett (Burraneer Rugby Club) where their efforts were recognised.

As a proud Tongan, Australian, and all round passionate supporter of Rugby, Sila has proved himself a source of guidance to hundreds of young men playing Rugby in Western Sydney.

This year he coached the Western Raptors U12s side, Penrith 1st Colts Team and led the Penrith DJRU U12s representative side to a State Championship. Sila has also worked with disadvantaged youth in the area and roles as the vice president of the Western Raptors Junior Rugby Union.

In 2014, Asteron Life, naming rights partners of Super Rugby in Australia, teamed up with the Australian Rugby Union to recognise coaches that have given incredible service to the game.

Clubs and players across the country were invited to nominate their Community Coach of the Year by writing a short submission, explaining how that coach has demonstrated the five values of passion, integrity, discipline, respect and teamwork.

Michael Cheika, who led the NSW Waratahs to a maiden Asteron Life Super Rugby title this year, praised the efforts of coaches around Australia.

"Grassroots Rugby is all about the community so it's great to see Asteron Life working with Australian Rugby Union to create a national program which highlights the tremendous contribution of coaches," Cheika said.

"Without these community coaches, who forego their weekends and nights to mentor our young generation of players, many of our elite players wouldn't be where they are today."

Jordan Hawke, Executive General Manager, Asteron Life said it is vital to recognise the value of community rugby.

"Asteron Life is thrilled to support community rugby in Australia and recognise the hard work of coaches who have given up their time so selflessly to help grow the game of Rugby Union in Australia. We thank all coaches for their time and dedication," Mr Hawke said.