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Thread: Hodgo up for Rupa community service award

  1. #1
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    Hodgo up for Rupa community service award

    2016 Community Service Award finalists announced

    By Pete Fairbairn, 24.11.16

    RUPA are pleased to announce the finalists for the 2016 Community Service Award, with the winner to be announced at the Volvo-RUPA Awards Lunch on Wednesday December 7th.

    The Community Service Award is presented to the player who has made extraordinary service to the community through charity events, appearances and promotion of a community or not-for-profit cause or initiative.

    Finalists are put forward by the RUPA Player Development Managers, and the winner is decided by RUPA Chairman Bruce Hodgkinson SC and RUPA President Benn Robinson.

    The Award was first presented in 2011, when it was won by David Pocock, with other winners including Eddie Aholelei (2012), Pat Leafa (2013), Pat McCutcheon & Henry Speight (2014) and Paddy Ryan (2015).

    2016 RUPA Community Service Award finalists:

    Robbie Abel

    ACT Brumbies hooker Robbie Able conducts weekly charity and community voluntary work all year long, doubling his commitment to four hours every week during the off-season. Robbie’s voluntary commitments including one on one and group indigenous and pasifika mentorship, coaching clinics, promoting health programs, community fitness programs and more. Abel, who won the Brumbies Community Award this year, was the keynote presenter at Canberra High School’s NAIDOC Assembly and received glowing reviews from school staff for his ability to captivate the entire student body.

    Nigel Ah-Wong

    ACT Brumbies back Nigel Ah-Wong became an Ambassador for Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Australia in 2016. His Aunty had been a sufferer suffered of MND for three years and inspired Nigel to become heavily involved; sadly, she passed late this year. Whilst not known for his public speaking, Nigel felt strongly enough about the cause to present to the Board of Directors of MND Australia, and promoted awareness and fundraising initiatives for the charity through Club-supported press activity, social media and donating Brumbies apparel and his personal ticket allocation to those affected by the disease.

    Matt Hodgson

    Western Force star Matt Hodgson, a RUPA Player Director, made a significant contribution and commitment to charity LIVIN WA in 2016, raising awareness for mental health and imploring people who are struggling to speak out and ask for help. An Ambassador and State Committee member for the charity, Hodgson has gone above and beyond by touring remote mining sites to spread the LIVIN mantra, as well as also dedicating time to other causes including the Rise UP Charity Dinner.

    Jed Holloway

    NSW Waratahs backrower Jed Holloway thrives on being a public figure and using that platform to give back and help others within the community, and in 2016 he completed a team-high 56 hours of team appearances and community work, 22 hours more than the next ranked player. Jed is a proud Ambassador for Starlight Children’s Foundation, who he has been working with in his own time for many years, and after sustaining a serious injury he proactively embraced community opportunities including regional promotional tours, school visits and Junior Rugby events.

    Patrick McCutcheon

    A former winner of this Award in 2014 when playing for the NSW Waratahs, Patrick McCutcheon’s nomination recognises the hard work he has put in aligning the Raise Foundation, for whom he’s a long-standing Ambassador, with the Sevens program. Pat has continued to be a mentor within the program and has helped facilitate a number of his teammates doing likewise, as well as heavily involving himself with the organisation of the inaugural Raise Foundation Australian Rugby Sevens Golf Day. He also made 20 appearances throughout the year including numerous school and Club visits.

    The Community Service Award is one of eight major Awards presented at the Volvo-RUPA Awards Lunch, including the RUPA Medal for Excellence, Taylors Wines People’s Choice Wallaby of the Year and the Academic Achievement Award.

    Stay tuned for announcements regarding the finalists in other Award categories over the coming days and weeks.

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  2. #2
    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Congrats to one and all

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  3. #3
    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Heroic Hodgson Takes Out 2016 RUPA Community Service Award

    By Fraser Smith on Wed 7th December 16
    By Pete Fairbairn

    Western Force star and RUPA Player Director Matt Hodgson saw his wonderful commitment to mental health awareness recognised as he taking out the 2016 RUPA Community Service Award.

    The Western Force club legend and games record holder made a made a significant contribution charity LIVIN WA in 2016, raising awareness for mental health and imploring people who are struggling to speak out and ask for help. An Ambassador and State Committee member for the charity, Hodgson has gone above and beyond by touring remote mining sites to spread the LIVIN mantra, as well as also dedicating time to other causes including the Rise UP Charity Dinner.

    ACT Brumbies playmaker Christian Leali’ifano has won the 2016 RUPA Medal for Excellence, being voted by his peers as the individual who has shown the best performance, leadership, consistency and discipline, both on and off the field, across the international and domestic Rugby season.

    The RUPA Medal for Excellence is the pinnacle of player Awards in Australian Rugby with the ten finalists comprising of the winner and runner-up in each Super Rugby team’s Players’ Player Awards, and the winner was announced at The Ivy at the annual Volvo-RUPA Awards Lunch.

    Leali’ifano was voted the Brett Robinson Brumbies’ Players Player of the Year at the Brumbies Awards night in September, after co-captaining his side to victory in the Australian Super Rugby conference in 2016.

    The 29-year-old, who has amassed 117 Super Rugby caps and over 800 points since joining the Brumbies in 2007, missed just five minutes of the Brumbies’ entire Super Rugby campaign as they topped the Australian conference.

    The 6th highest overall point scorer in the 2016 Super Rugby season with 163 (3 tries, 41 conversions & 22 penalty goals), Christian also completed a Certificate IV in New Small Business and was instrumental in the leadership of the Brumbies’ Pasifika players’ development program. He is a ‘champion’ for the Canberra Domestic Violence Crisis Service, and this year he won an ACT Government Violence Prevention Award.

    Speaking via video from Melbourne, Leali’ifano thanked his peers and paid tribute to all of Australia’s professional Rugby players.

    “I’m truly, truly humbled and honoured to receive such an Award,” Leali’ifano said. “Congratulations to all of the other nominees; I feel like this is probably an award for all of us, and the great work we do in the community to grow the game around the country.”

    Christian, who was diagnosed with leukaemia in August of this year and has been undergoing treatment in Melbourne, thanked the Rugby community for their support since his illness was diagnosed.

    “I want to thank everybody for all of their support through this journey this little man and I are on at the moment,” he said. “It definitely means a lot and we’re all so grateful for your thoughts and prayers.”

    The RUPA Medal for Excellence was officially accepted on Christian’s behalf by his manager, former Queensland Reds star Clinton Schifcofske.

    Fellow utility back Reece Hodge, from the Melbourne Rebels, capped an outstanding maiden professional campaign with the Newcomer of the Year award. It’s the third year in a row that a Rebels player has won the award, with Hodge following in the footsteps of his Club (and Wallaby) teammates Sean McMahon (2014) and Sefanaia Naivalu (2015).

    Hodge finished the season with 10 Wallaby caps to his name and 2 tries at international level, after joining the Rebels on the back of a stellar 2015 Buildcorp NRC campaign with the Sydney Rays. He made an instant impact on his Super Rugby debut as he scored 20 points in the Rebel’s Round One victory in Perth against the Force, including 2 tries.

    It was a sign of things to come for the dynamic utility back, who played in almost every possible backline position for the Rebels during the 2016 Super Rugby season, finishing the season as their leading tryscorer with 9 tries (a Club record), before making his Test debut at Eden Park against the All Blacks.

    Away from Rugby, Reece completed his Diploma of Business in 2016, and he is working towards the completion of his Bachelor of Physiotherapy.

    Waratahs star Michael Hooper backed up October’s John Eales Medal triumph as he was voted the winner of the Taylors Wines People’s Choice Wallaby of the Year award, just pipping Bernard Foley and David Pocock in a nail-biting finish.

    Hooper has been a shining light for the Wallabies in 2016, playing 14 of a possible 15 Tests and edging past 60 caps for his country despite being just 25 years of age. A constant threat at the breakdown and excitement machine in attack, with skills more akin to a backline star than a back rower, Hooper also won his fourth straight Matt Burke Cup as the Waratahs’ Players’ Player in 2016.

    On the back of an outstanding 2015-2016 season which saw the Australian Women’s Rugby Sevens team win both the World Championship and the inaugural Gold Medal at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Charlotte Caslick has edged out Chloe Dalton to win her second straight Women’s Rugby Sevens Players’ Player of the Year Award.

    Caslick was named in the Tournament Dream Team in 2 of the 4 World Series events she played in, scoring 9 tries in the process. At the Olympic Games in Rio, Charlotte was the team’s equal top try-scorer with 7, and she was named in the Tournament Dream Team.

    Caslick won’t have to look far for somebody to celebrate with, as her partner Lewis Holland was crowned the Australian Men’s Rugby Sevens Players’ Player of the Year, ahead of Allan Fa’alava’au. 2016 Holland play in 5 world series events and at the Rio Olympics, with an injury-interrupted season not limiting his output when he was available. Selected in the Tournament Dream Team in Sydney, Holland also won the Players’ Player Award there, in Dubai and in Vancouver. Holland twice scored 5 tries in a tournament, ending with a season tally of 82 points.

    Completing a great day for the Australian Rugby Sevens program, Alicia Quirk became the first non-Super Rugby player to win the Academic Achievement Award since its’ inception in 2011. In 2016, Quirk managed to balance her studies and Rugby with aplomb as she completed her Bachelor of Physiotherapy with Charles Sturt University, including the completion of nearly a month’s practical work at Westmead Hospital.

    Alicia also learnt Portuguese in preparation for the Olympic Games, where she played a key role in Australia’s Gold Medal win, and put her physiotherapy skills to the test just last week as she looked after injured teammate Brooke Anderson at the Dubai Rugby Sevens while the team physio was occupied with another player.

    Finally, NSW Country Eagles scrumhalf Jake Gordon was crowned the Buildcorp NRC Player of the Year, with his peers voting for him as he played a pivotal role in his side’s progression to the Grand Final in 2016. Gordon scored 9 tries as his side topped the competition for points scored, and the 23-year-old will be looking to press on and make his Super Rugby debut with the Waratahs in 2017 after showing his capabilities at NRC level.

    The Volvo-RUPA Awards Lunch, one of the highlights of the Australian Rugby calendar, allows RUPA’s members to acknowledge the significant achievements of their peers on and off the field. With a who’s who of Australian Rugby in attendance among a room of over 400 people including players, coaches, sponsors, media and other stakeholders of the game, it is seen as the ideal way to celebrate and reflect upon the Rugby season as the calendar year comes to a close.

    Over 20 players from Australia’s five Super Rugby franchises and the Australian Men’s and Women’s Rugby Sevens program who had been in attendance at #RUPACamp in Coogee since Monday were also in attendance, symbolising a crucial stage in welcoming them to the Australian Rugby family as professional players.

    2016 RUPA-ASRU Scholarship winner Yirrbi Jaffer-Williams performed the traditional acknowledgment to country, with the lunch hosted by Fairfax Media’s Georgina Robinson, RUPA President Benn Robinson and Australian Women’s Rugby Sevens star Tiana Penitani.

    The Rugby Union Players' Association was incorporated in October 1995 in direct response to the professionalism of Rugby and was established to promote and safeguard the interests of its members, namely the professional Rugby players of Australia. Currently 100% of Australia’s full time professional players are members of RUPA.

    Full List of winners, 2016 Volvo-RUPA Awards Lunch
    RUPA Medal For Excellence: Christian Leali'ifano (ACT Brumbies)
    Newcomer of the Year: Reece Hodge (Melbourne Rebels)
    Taylors Wines People's Choice Wallaby of the Year: Michael Hooper (NSW Waratahs)
    Men’s Rugby Sevens Players' Player of the Year: Lewis Holland
    Women’s Rugby Sevens Players' Player of the Year: Charlotte Caslick
    Academic Achievement Award: Alicia Quirk (Australian Women's Rugby Sevens)
    Community Service Award: Matt Hodgson (Western Force)
    Buildcorp NRC Players' Player of the Year: Jake Gordon (NSW Country Eagles)

    Originally published as Christian Leali'ifano wins RUPA Medal For Excellence

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  4. #4
    Veteran Sheikh's Avatar
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    Good on ya Matty. Glad to see him getting recognition for his cracking work beyond the paddock, too

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    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    Well done Hodgo!! Great player on the field; great human off the field 👍🏼

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  6. #6
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    RUPA Executive Matt Hodgson standing by his Force
    TODAY AT 9:15 PM

    by Staff Writer
    Christian Leali’ifano was awarded RUPA's Meda of Excellence on Wednesday, recognized not just for his performances on the field, but also the incredible strength he has shown off it.

    Leali’ifano was voted by his peers, including former Wallabies teammate Matt Hodgson, as the player who demonstrated the best performance, leadership, consistency and discipline, both on and off the field, during the international and domestic rugby seasons.

    The Western Force veteran and RUPA Player Director said Leali'ifano was an inspiration to those around him.

    “Off the field, what Christian has been through and how he’s held himself in the last couple of months, everyone respects that. He gives other people a lot of hope, and people see a lot of strength in him,” he said.

    “I was lucky enough to spend a fair bit of time with him in Wallaby camp and toured the UK on several Spring Tours, and he’s a great man.

    Matt Hodgson, Christian Leali'ifano in the shadow of Table Mountain during the Wallabies training session in 2014. Photo: Getty Images
    “He really deserves the award not just for his rugby ability, but for what he does off the field. I know the Brumbies boys will really miss him next year.”

    Hodgson took out the 2016 RUPA Community Service Award, recognised for his off-field commitment to raising awareness of mental health.

    Hodgson said his community work for LIVIN WA in 2016 which focuses on mental health in remote WA mining sites was motivated by an issue close to his heart.

    “My father suffered depression after going through some strokes and some serious issues, so that’s why I’m so passionate about it,” he said.

    “My wife has had some issues with depression in her family too, that’s why we get involved. If we can help one person it’s all worthwhile." - Matt Hodgson
    “Every day (with Dad) is living proof that getting behind these charities is worthwhile.”

    Hodgson said he was honoured to be able to support the work of LIVIN WA for whom he is an Ambassador and State Committee member.

    “If I can help someone in a bad situation break down the stigma and show them ‘it ain't weak to speak’, I’m more than happy to do so.”

    Hodgson was quick to credit the Force for the position he finds himself in, able to leverage sport as a tool for change.

    "It's definitely important, I know from my perspective they gave me my opportunity.

    "If the Force weren’t about I don’t know if I ever would have played Super Rugby.

    "Rugby needs teams in WA, there is so much talent growing up there - We are probably a little different to a lot of other states, with an influx of Kiwis, South Africans, even English and a lot of local talent around.

    "We have a good core group of players that are going to be playing rugby for a long time... We’re doing a lot as players to ensure the Force is successful both on and off the field."

    On the back of the success of the Western Force Wallabies, Hodgson said it was not surprised players are starting to get recognised.

    "You've seen Adam (Coleman) and Dane (Haylett-Petty) excel this year after a lot of hard work. I think Luke Morahan should have played a lot more for the Wallabies this year and Jono (Lance) was so close and may have had an opportunity if he didn’t break his arm.

    "Looking at our last game against the Brumbies this year, we had around 7-10 local guys in our starting team and people don’t often look at that.

    "Rugby is pretty new in WA - with it only being around for a decade - so to get that number of locals in a starting Super Rugby team is pretty good. If you look at other teams, you wouldn’t really know how many home grown are in those Rugby strong states."

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