It might only be October but things are heating up at The Stockade!
To keep you up to date with everything happening Rebels related, here’s your Rebels Wrap.
Real Talk: Rob Leota with Alan Latu – Vic Masters Rugby
In the most recent edition of Real Talk, the voice of Rebels’ rugby, Alan Latu, sat down with Victoria’s most recent Wallaby, Rob Leota, to discuss his journey from the Northern suburbs of Melbourne to the running out on biggest stage in Australian rugby.
The proud Northern Panthers' product began the session by crediting club President, Grant Watson, for his profound impact on his early development playing at Memorial Park.
"He’s done so much for my journey," said Leota.
"The influence that Grant’s had on the Northern Panthers and the love he’s shown for the club is amazing. It’s so hard to bring in new players with the competition of AFL, but he always puts his heart and soul into it, just like me when I was in high-school.
"You only get those people to come when you really believe in them, sending that message. He’s been great influence on a lot of us coming through Northcote.
"That’s always been Grant – putting others before himself."
Leota later described the challenging demands of playing professional sport and the sacrifices that a required to fulfil a lifelong dream, such as playing for the Wallabies.
“I’m really close with my family, so not being able to see them for that long was something that kept me going, as I had something to look forward to."
“I knew at the end of the period that I was going to be able to see them, which helped me get through whenever I felt like I didn’t want to train.
“It’s rugby though, and it’s doing something you love, so I can’t complain.”
With the 2021 International Test season being Leota’s first Wallabies' experience, he was unacquainted with many of his teammates, some of which he idolised as a child.
However, the 24-year-old says it didn’t take him long to establish connection and create a meaningful bond with many of his fellow Wallabies’ teammates.
“A lot of the players are guys I used to watch when I was a kid at AAMI Park like Michael Hooper, James O’Connor and Quade Cooper."
“I’ve grown really close with a lot of the boys - guys that I’d barely known, I now consider really close friends.
“You have all that time to build relationships because it wasn’t just me that was keen to get home and see my family, it was all the boys.
“When you have tight bonds like that, you sometimes forget you’re even on the road.”
Watch the full interview at:
Mikaela Welti is the Forrest Gump of Melbourne – Rugby Vic
Rebels’ Nutritionist, Mikaela Welti, has been running for more than just fitness over the last two months, as the inaugural Melbourne Rebels' Super W player aims to raise funds for the Shake It Up Foundation.
The foundation - aimed at finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease – holds great significance to Welti.
Six years ago, her colleague’s dad was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease at just 46 years of age.
To raise funds, Welti and the participants at Tribute Boxing — which she co-owns — have embarked upon a ‘Run Club’ fundraiser to contribute much-needed funds for Parkinson’s disease research.
The ‘Run Club’ consists of 125 people, which have the collective goal of running, walking, swimming, or riding 20,000km in 60 days.
Welti has been contributing to the ‘Run Club’ by running — incredibly — a half marathon every day for the entire 60-day duration of the fundraiser.
“I thought, why not do it in a running capacity? For the last five or six years, I’ve been running every day, comfortably 10-15km most days with one rest day a week. I wanted to do something that not everyone can do. Something challenging for me but also achievable,” said Welti.
“Parkinson’s disease does not have a cure and it is a progressive disease.
“But physical activity can help. Being active and having a positive mindset can actually slow down the progression of Parkinson’s Disease.”
Welti is 55 days into her gruelling journey and has already exceeded her original goal of $5,000, having already raised $8,938 for the Shake It Up Foundation.
To donate to Shake It Up: https://shake-it-up-virtual-challenge.raisely.com/tribute-boxing