Rebels Sign Renowned Leadership and Well-Being Coach

Thu, 14/10/2021, 10:39 pm
Rebels Media
by Rebels Media
Andrew Blowers will join the Rebels in a key leadership role.
Andrew Blowers will join the Rebels in a key leadership role.

The Melbourne Rebels are thrilled to confirm the appointment of Andrew Blowers to the Club’s leadership team ahead of the fast-approaching 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season.

Blowers will become the Club’s Leadership Coach, working closely alongside GM of Rugby, Nick Stiles, and the ambitious coaching core of Kevin Foote, Geoff Parling, Ryan Martin and Will Markwick.

The forty-six-year-old’s commitment to the Rebels caps an exciting time for Victoria’s sole Super Rugby team, with the Rebels kicking-off pre-season boasting a wealth of high-performance leadership across all departments within the club.

Melbourne Rebels’ CEO, Baden Stephenson, is excited about the arrival of Blowers.

“The club is absolutely delighted that Andrew has agreed to join the Rebels in a key player leadership role.

“Andrew is highly respected and firmly embedded in the Victorian Rugby community, with a strong understanding of our strengths, gaps and opportunities with our Pacifika players.

“Leadership doesn’t just sit with one person in the club, it is a shared responsibility and I believe we have an outstanding team who will all have tailored roles with our leadership programs, including Kevin, Andrew, Moana Leilua (Player Development Manager), Sally McNeilly (GM People & Culture) and Nick Stiles (GM Rugby). ”Head Coach Kevin Foote is very passionate about driving culture and developing leadership right across the whole Club,” Stephenson said.

Blowers arrives at The Stockade with an extensive background working in successful high-performance programs, having been an integral member of AAMI Park neighbours, the Melbourne Storm, for over six-years (2013 – 2020) as Wellbeing Officer, including during their 2017 and 2020 premiership seasons.

Now specialising in leadership coaching, keynote speaking and corporate workshops, the former University of Canberra graduate is also the founder and director of The Catalyst House – a highly respected Melbourne-based organisation - which aims to assist and empower Maori and Pacific Islander people to maximise their full potential with community, health, and wellbeing.

Prior to this, Blowers was best known for his achievements on the field, where the New Zealand-born flanker enjoyed a memorable professional playing career spanning across three countries and lasting over fifteen years.

After beginning his senior career with Auckland in the NPC, Blowers won selection with his hometown Blues during their inaugural Super Rugby season in 1996, before going on to make his All-Blacks Test debut against the Springboks later that same year.

Over the next three seasons, Blowers amassed 18 caps with the national team, with the All-Blacks winning 10 of the 11 matches he played in.

In 2001, the former Mount Albert Grammar School prodigy relocated to the Northern Hemisphere, signing with the Northampton Saints in England’s Premiership Rugby competition, where Blowers made 120 appearances over five seasons, before representing the Toyota Shokki in Japan’s Rugby League One.

Over the next three years, Blowers enjoyed stints with the Bristol Bears (UK), and the Highlanders and Auckland in the Air New Zealand Cup, before calling time on his illustrious career in 2009.

Blowers said the appeal of joining a club so deeply connected to its community was exciting and that he believes the Rebels are on the verge of “untapping their greatest of strengths” in season 2022.

“I have a big passion about building the mindset and leadership behaviours of players on and off the field and unleashing their strengths - that’s something I’ve always been fascinated about,” said Blowers.

“There’s a real community feel at the Rebels, which is special. Kevin Foote’s approach of being connected with your surroundings and your community, is something I’ve carried throughout my career, so that really resonated with me.

“What also stood out to me was just how driven this organisation and the playing group was. There’s so much potential to grow and evolve from good to great, with both the playing group, but also the staff, so that was really exciting for me and something I really wanted to become a part of.”

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