Mark Ella inducted as a ‘Legend of Australian Sport’

Mark Ella, 1977 Australian Schoolboy and Wallaby Captain, was today inducted as a ‘Legend’ by the Sport Australia Hall of Fame members at an exclusive luncheon held at the Museum of Contemporary Arts, The Rocks, Sydney.

Mark Ella with his Legends trophy

Some excellent news on one of our own.

Mark Ella, 1977 Australian Schoolboy and Wallaby Captain, was today inducted as a ‘Legend’ by the Sport Australia Hall of Fame members at an exclusive luncheon held at the Museum of Contemporary Arts, The Rocks, Sydney.

Mark Ella is a proud member of one of Australia’s most gifted sporting families. His career was comparatively brief, but his genius remains an inspiration for all who play the game they say was made in Heaven.” Bruce McAvaney

Mark was introduced with a powerful speech by John Bertrand, America’s Cup winning skipper of Australia II and Chair of the Hall of Fame, and received a standing ovation from the room full of Hall of Fame athletes and key sports administrators.

At the luncheon, Mark, accompanied by wife Kim, was unquestionably the man of the hour. Everyone wanted to speak with him and have a photo taken with him, including the invited media prior to the luncheon.

To be elevated from Sport Australia Hall of Fame member to legend status is arguably the highest honour to be bestowed in Australian sport,” said Bruce McAvaney, legendary sports commentator and Selection Committee Chair of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

Mark Ella is a proud member of one of Australia’s most gifted sporting families. His career was comparatively brief, but his genius remains an inspiration for all who play the game they say was made in Heaven,” said McAvaney.

This is considered the nation’s most prestigious sporting honour.

The Legends of Australian Sports is also one of the most exclusive clubs in Australia with only 49 members. These include household names such as Dawn Fraser, Donald Bradman, Evonne Goolagong-Cawley, Cathy Freeman, John Bertrand, Jack Brabham, Reg Gasnier, Betty Cuthbert, Herb Elliott, Ian Thorpe and Shane Warne.

Of note, Mark joins Wally Lewis as the second member of the 1977 Australian Schoolboys team to be inducted as a ‘Legend of Australian Sport’.

Of note, Mark joins Wally Lewis as the second member of the 1977 Australian Schoolboys team to be inducted as a ‘Legend of Australian Sport’.

“The annual Elevation of Sport Australia Hall of Fame Members to Legend status is the most celebrated honour that can be bestowed on an Australian athlete, coach or administrator. Legend status provides the chance to honour Members who have distinguished themselves at the highest level of their sport and become a part of Australia’s rich sporting folklore,” said the Sport Australia press release.

The ASRU, and on behalf of all schools rugby players, schools and clubs, congratulate Mark on this extraordinary honour.

Mark giving his acceptance speech, with John Bertrand on his right
Mark with surfing legend Layne Beachley
Mark and Layne in front of the television media

The new inductees to the Hall of Fame were Kim Brennan, a rowing icon with Olympic gold and multiple medals; Tim Cahill, the only Socceroo to play at four FIFA World Cups; Kurt Fearnley, a three-time Paralympic gold medallist and two-time Commonwealth Games medallist; Lydia Lassila, Aerial Skiing Olympic champion; Johnathan Thurston, Dally M winner, Kangaroo and former North Queensland Cowboys captain; Nova Peris, the first Indigenous Australian to win an Olympic gold medal as a Hockeyroo and the only person to make back-to-back Summer Olympic Games finals in two different sports; and Tim McLaren, one of the most renowned rowing coaches in the world, who has successfully coached crews at every Olympic Games since 1992.

ASRU thanks Sport Australia for the photographs

Mark Ella’s acceptance speech


THE AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLS RUGBY UNION ‘ASRU’

The Australian Schools Rugby Union ‘ASRU’ is an independent, incorporated not-for-profit association run by volunteer members of the teaching profession and supporters who believe rugby has a unique ethos and benefits that contribute to the broader education of young people.

The ARSU is responsible for implementing, administering, coordinating, organising and controlling all projects and activities relating to all rugby union activities in Australia at the school level.

For over 50 years, the ASRU has provided an expansive nursery to foster the opportunities and aspirations of school rugby players from a wide range of established and emerging competitions and networks. From the 1984 Grand Slam winning Wallabies team and the two World Cup winning Wallaby teams in 1991 and 1999, 27 of the players were Australian Schoolboy representatives. Since its inception in 1969 over 200 representatives of the Australian Schools Rugby Union have gone on to represent the Wallabies in the international arena. Hundreds more have been selected in state and other representative teams during this time.

THE AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLS RUGBY FOUNDATION

The Australian Schools Rugby Foundation is a separate incorporated body whose aim is to support the aims of the Schools Rugby Union. The Foundation comprises business professionals, past Australian Schoolboys and Wallabies who look to use their business networks to provide additional financial support to the ASRU. The Foundation Chairman is David Mortimer.

MEDIAContact:  [email protected]

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