ASRU President’s Report AGM 2022

Australian Schools Rugby Union

27th  March 2022

2021 has been another disruptive year for schools and schools rugby with the continuation of uncertainty and restrictions during the continuation of the covid pandemic.

In 2021 we were faced with the impost of the Queensland Department of Education issuing a ban on travel to national championships by schools teams. Thus for the second year running the Australian Schools Championships were cancelled.

Other sates and our association were still keen to provide some sporting and representative competitions for schools rugby. A tournament was devised to occur in Canberra  in June and include two NSW touring teams, and a Victorian schools team to play the ACT schools. Flights were booked and plans were made.

The Canberra tournament  again includes a girls competition of 7’s rugby but with the snap locked down in NSW the ACT teams played each other.

The annual Sydney luncheon was cancelled due to the pandemic restrictions, demographic of our attendees and slow rollout of the vaccines. In Brisbane things were faring a little better and a Brisbane lunch was held successful with guest speakers Michael O’Connor, Chris Roache and Annette Finch.  There is still much do to in the funding arena for ASRU and we are grateful for the ongoing support of our two biggest cash donors and supporters, the ASRU foundation and the Rugby Club Foundation.

For the third year of my presidency we saved lots of money in travel as we dealt with the pandemic and adopted technologies to stay in touch and run meetings via zoom.

I am grateful to the strong executive and  committee members who volunteer their time and continued to be passionate about rugby in a very unusual year.  Special thanks to Stuart Meade who is department the ASRU exec after a very long time, Libby Nankviell after 3 years who is now focusing on women’s rugby in Queensland, and a big thanks to Kevin Culiver who has stepped in to act as president whilst I focused on family.

We named a merit Australian  Schools team at the Brisbane lunch in September  and a Australian Barbarian side and sent out jerseys and certificates to students across Australia.  It has been most exciting to receive the numerous thanks and gratitude from boys and their schools and parents who were awarded these honours by our gifted selectors.

We look into the future of now living with covid and adjusting to sport and life with it in our communities. It is an uncertain future for all.

One of the important aims of schools’ rugby is the ability to self select and create opportunities for any player to trial for a team, ASRU continues to promote the equity model and the importance of the teach coach.

The core of Australian schools is the teacher coach and the understanding and empathy that goes with being a good teacher and understanding the vital needs of a year 12 student to finalise and succeed I their last years of official schooling. This simply cannot be underestimated.

We are continuing to grow our profile across platforms including instagram and facebook and including a new look ​​ website complete with archive section and a new search a player option. Just type a players name in for their stats.
The planning for the 2022 championships in Sydney in July will  includes girls 7s players too.

From this we will pick a Barbarian side and a Presidents side to play each other or a incoming Tonga touring side or if international  travel is still too difficult a pasfika schools team will be selected for a small tri tournament in September 2022.

Yours in Rugby,

Tim Cleary


Australian Schools Rugby Union
Email: ​[email protected]