Navy rugby union - more than a game

This article has photo gallery Published on WOCSM Chris Boardman (author), Unknown (photographer)

Location(s): Brisbane, Queensland

RANRU personnel have given back to the Highfields Redbacks local junior rugby community by being able hold a training camp. (photo: Unknown)
RANRU personnel have given back to the Highfields Redbacks local junior rugby community by being able hold a training camp.

During this year's Australian Defence Rugby Union Championships held in Brisbane, the Navy sides took the opportunity to engage the local Queensland community in two separate events.
Having coordinated the use of local rugby club the Highfields Redbacks' training grounds and equipment, the Club President asked if Navy players would be keen to attend a juniors' training session. Leaping at the opportunity, fourteen Navy personnel trained with the club for their Friday afternoon session.
Club President Marius Kruger said the time spent with the junior players made a huge difference.
"They have not only learnt new skills but had the opportunity to spend time with people of great character," Mr Kruger said.
“In their eyes these guys are all heroes."
Seaman Marine Technician Michaela Peck said that it was a rewarding experience being able to see the enthusiasm of the junior players and an exciting way to give back to the community.
Only two days later, twelve Navy personnel visited Lady Cilento Children's Hospital to spend some time with the sick children.
Petty Officer Combat Systems Supervisor Mark Skinner said the team took stock of the strength of the patients, and team of nurses and doctors at the hospital and came away with a real sense of the team and unity that all at the hospital employ to produce positive outcomes through challenging times.
"It was amazing to see the strength that these kids and their familes showed - going through the toughest time and still being able to smile," he said. 
“Witnessing the care and support the staff provide to the children was special, but the most incredible part of the day was witnessing the superhuman strength that such young children show while enduring various treatments. 
“Our men's and women's representatives are the pinnacle of Navy fitness and tenacity but every one of us here is in awe of the strength and spirit of the kids and I expect the players will have a little bit extra motivation to dig deep, both on the field and back in their ships."
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