Victoria’s female leaders in rugby had the exciting opportunity to speak with the Governor-General of Australia and his wife, Her Excellency Mrs Hurley, last Wednesday around leadership in sport – on and off the field.
The interactive, online Q&A session featured 18 women and youth girls ‘captains’ of Victorian Rugby, including Melbourne Rebels Super W Coach Alana Thomas, Wallaroo Georgia Cormick and a range of youth girls’ representatives.
The discussion centred around tips to manage teammates throughout Victoria’s covid enforced lockdown, how to engage your team throughout the transition phase into next season and encourage a return to participation on and off the field next year.
President of The Rugby Club of Victoria, John Anderson, facilitated the special event and believes it provided an unprecedented platform for Victorian rugby’s female leaders to connect.
“We themed it around Captains of Rugby – both youth girls and women. It centred around leadership both on and off the field, current restrictions, and transition back onto the field – giving participants the tools needed to manage the current situation,” he said.
“The feedback was very positive.”
“The Governor-General and Mrs Hurley are very approachable people, and all participants were able to ask questions each. The outcome was a great deal of inspiration and motivation provided for our youth girls and women.”
“For us, we realise there is an opportunity to enable more sessions like this in the future. We’d love to organise for Grace Hamilton (Wallaroos Captain) to speak with our youth girls.”
The Governor-General of Australia exercised personal examples to demonstrate the parallels of military and team sport and provided tips on managing the period of uncertainty to all participants through a Covid era.
“Create the opportunity for everyone to enjoy the game, everyone has a role in a team. Teams create opportunities for others should they wish to excel in an elite space,” The Governor-General said.
The Governor-General informed participants to “Empower other women,” and “develop the best in you.”
“Leaders need an inner core strength, to not only survive difficult situations, but to excel,” he continued.
Participating in the special event was Sunday from Kiwi Hawthorn Football Club; a Year 8 House Captain who helped form the club’s Youth Girls team in 2017.
According to Sunday, the discussion with the Governor-General of Australia provided her with the inspiration and tools to further her leadership aspirations in rugby.
“It was a good experience to get Their Excellencies perspectives on rugby and different leadership values,” she said.
“The Governor-General discussed how important it is to keep our teammates’ passions alive for rugby during this lockdown, while Mrs Hurley said it is important to go for your dreams and do what you want to do.”
“It’s given me more of a perspective on being a leader and provided me with great advice on how to keep people engaged.”
“It’s great for youth girls to have these opportunities to learn.”