So tell me about FOW?
The FOW was re-formed in 2010 to provide financial assistance to WRC during some particularly tough times at Rat Park. The FOW had been in existence prior to that in several forms having been originally founded by former WRC President, John Heffernan, in the late 1980’s. The aim of the FOW is to provide financial assistance to Rats. Currently, the FOW have over 50 members who contribute $1,000p.a. each to help fund special projects at Rat Park.
What is, in your view, the greatest achievement for FOW.
The FOW members have much to be proud of and have contributed to the Rats being one of the premier rugby clubs in Australia. The refurbishment of the gym a few years ago was a major project for the FOW (it should be remembered that the FOW members funded the building of the initial Rats gym in the late 1980’s) and together with S&C Coach, Dan Tilley, and the previous GM, Luke Holmes, we have upgraded the Rats gym significantly. Last year, the FOW invested significantly in upgrading the medical equipment used by the Club Doctor and Physiotherapists. The FOW purchased an additional defibrillator, a stretcher with neck brace, crutches along with upgrading the lighting and bedding in the medical room. Obviously, we want our players to have the best care available to them when they need it. In addition, we continue to invest into Junior Rugby on the northern beaches and this year we have Sam Needs, Rats First XV front rower, coaching the junior clubs and representative sides in scrummaging, neck protection and general rugby skills. This new initiative seems to be well received by the Junior clubs. In the past, we have also funded the Green and White Academy which is a training camp run by the Rats over the summer months for junior players.
Tell us about the FOWRF Community Lunch on the 19 July 2019 and tell me, why should our supporters attend?
The FOW Community Lunch is being held on Friday 19 July 2019 at the Park House Hotel with special guest speakers former Rat and Wallaby, Brett Sheehan, and Manly Sea Eagle and Kangaroo, Geoff Toovey. It should be a fun afternoon hearing from these two tough, cheeky, feisty half-backs talk about their careers. Proceeds raised from the lunch will be invested back into Junior Rugby on the northern beaches i.e. equipment, training gear and specialised coaching. Junior rugby is the prime focus of the FOW for 2019 because without more kids playing rugby the harder it will become for the Rats in the future. It is the start of the pathway for our next Wallabies.
Why should a WRC supporter join FOW and how can they join?
Interested parties can look at our website www.friendsofwarringah.com or call any of the FOW Committee. We welcome any new members. Our only reason for our existence is to support WRC and rugby at all levels on the peninsula.
Can you explain the FOW’s new “Foundation” status and how this helps other traditional WRC supporters provide assistance to the Club.
This year the FOW registered with the Australian Sports Foundation. The great thing about this is that it makes the FOW membership fees tax deductible…this can only be a good thing.
Looking into the 2019 season, what are the goals for FOW coming into the middle 3rd of the season.
To continue to invest in Junior rugby on the peninsula…the best thing we can do for the Rats is to help grow the number of participants playing the game.
What excites you most about the 2019 season.
All Rats supporters are proud when local juniors are selected to represent at higher levels. Watching players like Scott Fardy, Pat McCabe and more recently, Emily Robinson, Chloe Dalton, Ellia Green, Rory O’Connor and Seb Wileman, obtain professional contracts is fantastic. We all share in their successes. I think all the FOW members love watching the new crop of players as they make their rugby journey…anyway…what is better than an afternoon at Rat Park?