November Newsletter

Wed, Dec 6, 2023, 1:52 AM
by Hearts in Rugby Union

Welcome to the November 2023 edition of the Hearts in Rugby Union Australia newsletter.

Chairmans Update

As 2023 comes to a close, it is with great relief that we report there were no catastrophic injuries (complete) in 2023 in Rugby in Australia.  We always breathe a sigh of relief when that milestone is achieved and no-one joins our exclusive club. 

It's crucial to keep in mind—and your hands in your pockets—that we still have 49 individuals, affectionately known as 'Wheelies,' who require ongoing support and financial assistance, needing funds raised for respite weekends, technology assistance and other related items.

Some of the highlights of 2023 have been Richard Tombs and I attending the International Rugby Charities Conference at Twickenham, England, the successful 50:50 Raffle (in Brisbane/ Sydney and Melbourne), Laffo’s Long Lunch and the Australian British Chamber of Commerce Rugby World Cup fundraising lunches.

Rugby Australia’s ongoing support in making us the official Charity of the Wallabies and Wallaroos in 2023 is such an important milestone for Hearts in Rugby Union. 

Rugby Australia also supports Hearts behind the scenes, especially with the excellent administration assistance skills of Blake Simpson, Community Rugby’s Michael Procajlo ongoing tireless help and Director Richard Gardham’s exceptional work on the Board, is all greatly appreciated.

Fellow new Board members Greg Eddy and Dr Liz Swinburn have been excellent additions to the Board, to greatly increase the Board’s specialities adding to the already great work of fellow Board members Sam Robson, John Dunlop and Hayden Rorke.

Lastly, thanks Tombsey for all your excellent work in rounding up the Wheelies, fundraising, working closely with RA and your everlasting energy and enthusiasm through 2023, a Rugby World Cup year.

Yours in Rugby

Nick Stevens

Chair and Director

 “Helping rugby help its own”

Hearts in Rugby Union (HiRU) extends heartfelt gratitude for your continued support and interest in our mission! Each year, HiRU plays a vital role in assisting individuals who have tragically suffered severe spinal or other permanent, life-altering injuries due to unforeseen accidents while playing rugby.

We are pleased and relieved to share that this season has been injury-free, sparing us from any incidents requiring HiRU support. This is a significant relief for our entire community.

However, it's crucial to keep in mind—and your hands in your pockets—that we still have 49 individuals, affectionately known as 'Wheelies,' who require ongoing support and financial assistance. We invite you to read on to gain a deeper understanding of their stories and how you can make a difference.

Arona Amosa
Arona Amosa and his family received The Uncle Evan Fraser's weekend at Sargood

We're thrilled to share an inspiring story from the Hearts in Rugby Union family. Arona Amosa and his family received The Uncle Evan Fraser's weekend at Sargood, recognising Arona's contributions to rugby and his unwavering spirit in the face of challenges.

As part of the award, they found respite at Sargood on Collaroy, the world's first purpose-built haven for individuals with Spinal Cord Injuries. Nestled against Collaroy Beach, the facility offers adaptive activities, specialised equipment, and expert care, enhancing the quality of life for those with spinal cord injuries.

This respite showcased the impact of collective support and compassion on those facing challenges, highlighting the power of community within the Hearts in Rugby Union family. We extend sincere gratitude to everyone contributing to our success, making stories like Arona Amosa's possible. Your support truly makes a difference, helping us create moments of joy, strength, and resilience in the lives we touch.

Australian/British Chamber of Commerce and Laffo's Long Lunch

Thanks to the dedicated efforts of our outstanding committee, we orchestrated an impressive array of raffle and auction prizes that ignited tremendous enthusiasm in the room. The timing, with the Rugby World Cup just weeks away, added an extra layer of excitement, focusing attention on specific items.

In the wake of these events, we collectively rallied an impressive $90,000. This remarkable sum will play a crucial role, with a significant portion earmarked for a new vehicle for Greg Moran in December '23 or early 2024.

It's noteworthy that Greg and his circle of friends generously contributed many of the diverse items featured in the Laffo's auction and raffle. We are delighted that HiRU can contribute meaningfully to Greg's journey. They are shining examples of contributing to our motto “Helping rugby help its own”.

Your support and contributions have made a tangible impact, reinforcing the power of community and shared commitment. Thank you for being an integral part of this success. 

Hearts in Union - Tombs, Tonga
Hearts in Rugby Union Lunch Group Photo
Hearts in Rugby Union Lunch Group 2
Hearts in Rugby Union Lunch - Simon Poidevin and Mark Tonga
Hearts in Rugby Union Lunch - Alex Noble
Hearts in Rugby Union Lunch - Greg Moran & Alex Noble
Hearts in Rugby Union Lunch
Nathan Stapleton
Nathan Stapleton received his FES bike with support from Hearts in Rugby Union
Nathan Stapleton received his FES bike with support from Hearts in Rugby Union

In April 2022, Nathan's life took an unexpected turn while playing for the Boorowa Goldies. Fast forward to today, and Nathan, along with his family, has found solace on a property just 10 minutes outside of Young.

Thanks to the support of the Boorowa Rugby Club and the collaborative efforts of Hearts in Rugby Union (HiRU), Nathan's story takes a positive turn. At a recent fundraising dinner hosted by the Boorowa Rugby Club, HiRU proudly contributed $20,000 towards Nathan's Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) bike.

The FES bike has become a game-changer for Nathan. This innovative technology allows his legs to be electrically stimulated, aiding in pedalling and enabling him to maintain muscle tone and strength in his lower limbs. It's more than a piece of equipment; it's a symbol of hope and determination.

Nathan's journey exemplifies the real impact of your support. Your contributions are not just financial; they are transformative, helping individuals like Nathan regain a sense of independence and strength.

Thank you for being a crucial part of Nathan's success story. Here's what Nathan had to say:

The Hearts in Rugby Union have been instrumental in my recovery process, without them, me and my family wouldn’t be where we are. The constant support and encouragement have been first-class, they are one of the best organisations I have ever dealt with.

Hearts in Rugby Union

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