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Our Chairman’s Evening: Celebrating our great supporters of 2022

Wed, 22/06/2022, 7:40 am
Rebels Media
by Rebels Media

Earlier this month the Melbourne Rebels gave thanks for the wonderful support the Club received in 2022, hosting a night of celebration and networking at the South Press Wine Bar.

Invitees included the Rebels’ board, its First XV and Club partners, Melbourne Rebels’ CEO Baden Stephenson, GM of Rugby Nick Stiles, Head Coach Kevin Foote, and Rebels’ players James Tuttle and Sarah Hogan.

For Hogan, Season 2022 was an unforgettable chapter in her playing career as the Rebels Super W program embarked on a historic first season of player payments, leading the way for women’s rugby across the country.

Hogan believed the collective support was instrumental in the overall success of her side’s program and its ability to inspire the next generation of Victorian Super W players.

“It meant the world to our team,” said Hogan.

“When they support us women, they support a family and a sisterhood that goes through so much together in one season.

“They recognise that we need to be professional players and are helping us start to create that pathway for other women moving forward.

“It’s only the beginning but I’m so proud to walk along this path and continue building something special with this great support.”

Melbourne Rebels CEO, Baden Stephenson, echoed Hogan’s sentiments, thanking all in attendance for their fantastic support in 2022.

“On behalf of everyone at the Rebels – from every one of our players and our staff – we’re so grateful to receive such incredible support at our Club,” said Stephenson.

“This year provided its challenges, but I was so proud by the growth our Club showed overcoming early adversity to finish the season strongly. The last game against the Highlanders was special one for our Club. We had the opportunity to finish the season at the Stockade after two years on the road, we had strong connections with commercial partners, on field post game with our members, a packed changeroom with family, staff and key stakeholders and there was a sense of reward for a lot of hard work by many”

“Our Club’s purpose is to enrich the lives of our people and our communities through rugby union. While we are in a performance industry not everything can be measured by W/L’s. We should all be extremely proud of our leadership position in the Women’s game, hosting the inaugural Super Round, building world class facilities, authentically engaging with our Pasifika community, wearing our inaugural Pasifika jersey, reinvigorating the Weary Dunlop lunch to be the premier rugby lunch in the country, growing our commercial partners transitioning out of Covid and Community Blitz, and connecting with our community at every chance to name just a few.”

“As a Club, we’ve invested heavily in developing our youth and the results showed this year when injuries forced us to blood some of our young players against the world’s very best.

“Lukas Ripley became one of the youngest players ever to score a Super Rugby hat-trick, our next generation Burn Boy Josh Canham played 10 matches, Glen Vaihu played every game at just twenty years old, while our Victorian community got to celebrate the senior debut of Daniel Maiava who had just graduated from our academy program.

“We also had five players named in the Junior Wallabies squad for the Under 20’s Championships, which is a credit to our coaching staff and the support of our community.

“The number of homegrown and Victorian-based players at the Rebels has continued to grow, which shows there is elite talent in our state and that we have the pathways and resources here to develop it.

“We are also so proud to see our girls continue to be trailblazers within the sport. It was fantastic to cheer them on playing back on AAMI Park soil for the first time in over two-years. Having them back in Melbourne, playing in front of our community, will have a great impact on the next generation moving forward.

“I’m extremely optimistic looking ahead to next season. We’ve had several key players double down and re-sign with our Club – people that are invested in not just being the best players they can be, but also the best people and leaders within in our community.

“Our Victorian rugby community is a special one, and one the Melbourne Rebels are excited to continue growing with, side by side.”

The Melbourne Rebels would also like to thank David Neitz and the team at Brewmanity for supporting the night and to Adam North for hosting us.

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