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With the easing of restrictions advised by the ACT Government, the ACTRRA AGM will be held at Brumbies HQ on Tuesday 16th November 2021 at 7:00pm.
Brumbies have advised that as a condition of entry, all attendees must sign in using the CBR Check in App and must show evidence of double vaccination against COVID-19.
Members will also be required to remain 1.5m distant from each other throughout the meeting.
For those members who do not wish to attend in person, a Zoom facility stilll be available.
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Meeting ID: 978 3651 2744
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1. ACTRRA Annual General Meeting - Save the Date: Tuesday 16th November 2021, 7:00pm via Zoom
Despite the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions, it is highly unlikely we can confirm a face-to-face venue that can
cater for anticipated attendance numbers in time for the AGM. Therefore, the meeting will be held using the Rugby
Australia Zoom facility. Should this change, members will be advised accordingly.
2. Presentation Lunch - It was with much regret we had to cancel our Annual Presentation function given the lockdown conditions in the ACT. While it would be a fantastic idea to hold an end of year celebratory function in its place, early indications are there remain too many unknowns with potential venues to make concrete plans. Perhaps something early in 2022 may be possible and might be considered by the 2022 Executive.
As you all know, there were no finals in any of our competitions and thus perpetual named trophies for finals
appointments will not be awarded for 2021. Other named awards have been collated and members will be advised
of recipients in due course. As in 2021, it is anticipated these awards will be presented at the 2022 Pre-season
3. MOPP - Despite a call for nominations, no volunteers were forthcoming to investigate final matters to determine our match official payment matrix. Mike Dowsett kindly volunteered and summarised his considerations which will be
confirmed with Brumbies and ACTJRU as soon as practicable.
4. Penrith Emus - For season 2022, our senior competitions will include teams from the Penrith Rugby Club in Premier 1st and 2nd grade, Colts and Women’s XV’s. This is a great opportunity for Canberra rugby and while there is much work to be done, there will be plenty of opportunities for ACTRRA involvement with Sydney referees.
5. Kit - Once again, I acknowledge our sponsors support during the year. During recent times we have followed a 3-year cycle with our kit and our current arrangement is due to expire at the end of the 2022 Season. The Executive will
commence preparations for the 2023-25 cycle shortly. At the current level of subscriptions, only non-student ACTRRA
members contribute financially to the association, however, all members are provided with an extensive array of on
and off-field kit. The current model of kit purchase leaves a large amount of un-used and unwanted kit that must be
discarded every 3 years. Not only does this represent a waste of limited association funds, but neither is this tenable
in today’s world where waste is a such a significant issue.
The Executive is considering a change to this arrangement. Firstly, the Executive is considering that commencing
with the 2022 season, annual membership fees are free for all members. From 2023, Level 1 and above members
will be provided with all required on-field kit (likely main and alternate jerseys, shorts, socks, AR Flag and as
applicable, Coaches Jacket). These will carry and promote our sponsors and be expected to last three years. Referee
Ready members will continue to be provided with a Yellow Polo. It is proposed that like many ACT clubs, and in
keeping with our parent Union, ACTRU, our Association establish an online portal with O’Neills (TBC). Here, members
can purchase their choice of off-field kit (not limited to polos, warm up and training shirts, tracksuits, hoodies, kit
bags, beanies, hats, singlets, etc etc). It is proposed that the off-field kit is ACTRRA branded only and therefore can
be used indefinitely.
ACT Rugby Referees Association
Please see an example of the O’Neills portal here: https://www.oneills.com/au_en/clubs/rugby-union
The Association thanks all our current Sponsors and looks forward to fostering long term partnerships with you as
we move forward into our next kit cycle. The 2022 Executive will be asked to continue member consultation as our
future kit arrangements are progressed.
6. Asset Register
Peter Langford is collating information and details of all assets owned by ACTRRA. If you know the whereabouts of
any assets such as outstanding comms gear, please let Peter know: firstname.lastname@example.org
7. Social Media
With Buck Rodgers move interstate on Defence posting next year, the Executive is seeking a member who will
formally assume responsibility as the Social Media administrator. This is a crucial role to ensure we get appropriate
information to all members in a quick and easy way. Any volunteers, please send your details to our Secretary, Mitch
Once again, please remember to remain COVID-safe during all your activities. Use the ‘Check In CBR’ or ‘Service NSW’
Apps. For those of you who have not been vaccinated I encourage you to do so. Noting the NSW model of some
activities being restricted to vaccinated individuals, there may be implications for sport in 2022 of which we are yet
unaware. Stay Safe.
Yours in Rugby
The ACT & SNSW Rugby Union can confirm Penrith Emus Rugby Club have been accepted to participate in the 2022 John I Dent Cup season, in an expanded competition format.
Following consultation with the current Premier Clubs, who unanimously supported the Emus addition, the ACT & SNSW Rugby Union Board of Directors have formally endorsed Penrith’s inclusion in the John I Dent Cup, which will enter it's 84th season in 2022.
Established in 1965, Penrith played in Sydney's Shute Shield from 1995 to 2018, and again for the last two seasons.
The Emus have committed to fielding teams across 1st Grade, Women, 2nd Grade and Colts.
Brumbies Rugby Deputy CEO and General Manager Community Rugby, Craig Leseberg said: "Penrith are a proud club with a rich history and strong community focus.
"The Emus have great support from Penrith City Council and local businesses and healthy playing numbers across their senior rugby program.
"This is exciting news that gives certainty to their dedicated players, coaches and volunteers.
"ACT & SNSW Rugby are delighted to be able to support Penrith’s ambitions to play at a Premier Rugby level and thrilled at the prospect of a refreshed competition structure for next season, as we eagerly re-emerge from a COVID interrupted 2021."
Penrith Emus President, Gary McColl said: "Firstly, I want to thank Peter Johnson, Phil Thomson, Craig Leseberg and the ACT & SNSW Rugby Union's Board of Directors for their consideration and conduct throughout this process and I also want to thank ACT & SNSW's premier clubs for their overwhelming support of Penrith joining the John I Dent Cup.
"The competition has a wonderfully rich history, and when we think of some of the players the John I Dent Cup has produced, we can only be excited for young rugby players in Penrith, girls and boys who hope to go on to bigger and better things.
"This has obviously been a difficult time for everyone at our club but we have stuck together and can now look forward to an exciting new era for the Penrith Emus."
The Emus' affiliation will be reviewed in 12 months, though both parties are fully committed to a long-term partnership.
The ACT & SNSW Rugby Union urges everyone in community sport to get vaccinated against COVID-19, to ensure safe return to rugby in 2022.
Nominations for the Jim Healy Memorial Trophy have now closed, and the nominees are found below in no particular order. To vote, members must submit their nominee vote by email to the ACTRRA Patron, Mr Peter Lawler, at email@example.com by 1700 Friday 03 Sep 21. Voting is limited to one vote per member.
As a reminder to members, The Jim Healy Memorial is awarded annually to a member of the ACTRRA who by their loyalty, dedication and approach to refereeing, work in the Association, and relations with the ACT Rugby Union and affiliated referee associations has more than any other member assisted the Association in achieving the objectives of the Association during the year
The 2021 Nominees are ( in no particular order)
Geoff ‘Buck’ Rodgers
Affectionately known as Buck, Geoff Rodgers has dedicated significant expertise, experience, passion and time into the redevelopment of ACTRRAs electronic records, our outward facing social media presence, our member focused website, and visual coaching resources including the curation of a dedicated YouTube channel. Buck's dedication to the electronic arts has enhanced ACTRRAs online presence and brand, facilitated collective education, and strengthened our corporate governance.
Additionally, at very short notice, Buck ensured that the conduct of the Southern State Championships was as painless as possible for match officials when he identified a clear coordination vacuum that could have had disastrous consequences including wholesale levels of inappropriately appointed matches. Buck not only interfaced between the organisers and the available match official pool, he made sure that each game was appropriately appointed, that referee welfare was provided for, and the retrospective payment of the match officials occurred. Because of Buck's willingness to step forward, ACTRRAs reputation across all Southern States stakeholders, including Brumbies and the ACTJRU, was greatly enhanced.
Finally, Buck would compete strongly for miles travelled in that despite his desire and capability to referee at higher levels in Canberra, he can always be relied upon, without complaint, to travel to the farthest districts in support of Country Rugby.
Geoff seeks to remain in the background, but will always support the association however he can, whether that be through the curation of our socials, supporting junior carnivals, or doing the hard Second Division miles.
Denis Hughes sought to reinvigorate the role of Referee Development Officer for 2021. He proposed the role of the RDO to be to assist the association in recruiting, training and retaining referees, to be a point of contact for the members and external organisations, all so that we can better align efforts in advancing match official standards and thus making the role of refereeing in the ACT region more fulfilling and rewarding for all concerned. Denis’ proposal was readily accepted and he commenced the role this year. It is argued that Denis has achieved outstanding results for our association through his own initiative, passion, commitment, and interpersonal skills.
He has met many challenges and overcome most. He has conducted eight Referee Ready sessions, including three in Goulburn, where he has cumulatively trained over 80 recruits. He contributed to the preparation and delivery of online education sessions to both the association and the referee ready cohorts. He participated in the Eagles club session. He has reviewed over 40 Red Card reports. Denis has had almost daily interactions with Brumbies and the ACTJRU to address their concerns, and to champion our challenges. His greatest success is arguably having Junior appointments handed over to the Brumbies while at the same time having it recognised that referees are not an afterthought. This is a seismic change in attitude from outside the association and his contribution in achieving this outcome cannot be understated.
Denis has found ways to ensure that the mechanisms for the appointment of games that match referees skill, developmental requirements, and ambition are exploited even when hamstrung by the rushed introduction into service of the underwhelming Rugby Xplorer appointment system. Denis has achieved this in light of sub-standard technology, uncertain fixtures, and all the personalities that contribute to the unique fabric of Rugby in Canberra.
The RDO is a thankless task with unending challenges met by Denis’ continuous solutions. Through his remarkable and noteworthy efforts, and superior interpersonal skills, Denis has markedly advanced our associations recruiting, training and retention efforts and ensured that we all get as much satisfaction as we do from our part of the Game they Play in Heaven.
James Williamson has demonstrated exceptional commitment and dedication to the development, welfare, and inclusion of the Junior members of our association. Refereeing is sometimes an isolating experience, particularly when new to the role or in unfamiliar surroundings. James recognises this and takes proactive and tangible steps to lessen these feelings of trepidation or hesitancy.
James is a well known and familiar sight around the junior grounds. More often than not, he will spend an entire day at a particular school or club. He will referee multiple games, whether appointed or otherwise to ensure that every participant has the best experience possible. But more importantly, when not in the centre, James will be on the side of a field talking with a junior referee preparing them for their game, supporting them with law interpretations, guiding their on field positioning and generally supporting their ability to give their best performance on the paddock. James is both a prolific coach and genuine mentor to a generation of juniors. He cares about our juniors and places as much effort into our youngest and most inexperienced referee as anyone else. Through his efforts and support of grassroots referees can the future of our association be assured.
When Junior matches are not being played, James can always be relied upon to support bush rugby.
James’ contribution to the advancement of refereeing in the Canberra region is unseen by most, but to the Juniors that he has supported over the last several years it has been invaluable. He has supported the association's recruitment and retention efforts by ensuring that our juniors get as much support as possible. It is after all, these Referees who will be the Senior A Panel referees of the future.
Nathan Mass is a familiar face to most in the Association due to continuous off field support to referees through providing advice, mentorship, guidance, friendship, and of course kit! Whether appointed or not, Nathan is most willing to assist another referee in developing their skills and abilities, knowledge of the law, and improve situational understanding.
Nathan's attitude to feedback and referee development has allowed members of the association to feel comfortable to talk frankly and openly about improving individual refereeing.
It will come as no surprise to most that conducting the Presentation Luncheon on Sunday 5 September is proving untenable. Should the ACT lockdown be lifted on 2 September, one business day is not sufficient to prepare for a luncheon of 50-80 people.
The executive has therefore made the difficult decision to indefinitely postpone pending the decision from Brumbies on what they are doing with the senior season. There are two likely outcomes, as follows:
1. Delay the recommencement of the season. In this case we will seek to reschedule the presentation luncheon to align with the major semifinals.
2. Abandon the season. In this case, 2021 Grand Final appointments will not be made, nor announced. Other award winners and milestones will be recognised at a future date, likely the 2022 preseason seminar.
An announcement from Brumbies is expected over the coming days, the executive will seek to keep you as informed as possible, and what any decision means for referees.
On behalf of the ACTRRA Committee, Thanks to all members who refereed in the junior competitions
STATEMENT FROM MARTIN SULLIVAN, PRESIDENT ACTJRU
Regrettably, but not unsurprisingly, the ACT Junior Rugby Union has made the difficult decision to call an end to the 2021 season of junior rugby and cancel the Finals series and the Girls Rugby Gala event in September.
In reaching our decision, the ACTJRU considered its obligations to comply with the directions of the ACT Government as well as our broader obligation to provide participants with a safe environment in which to play rugby.
Even if lockdown was to be lifted on 2 September, there are a number of challenges that would prevent a finals series to be completed, such as the subsequent time available to prepare and plan for both a Finals series and the Girls Rugby Gala event, and the safety of the participants.
This means teams end the 2021 season in their position on the Competition Ladder with games played up to and including Round 11 of competition.
We note that other future representative events, including the national program managed by Rugby Australia and the Under 15’s fixture in Albury arranged by Brumbies Rugby, have also been cancelled.
The ACTJRU would like to thank all the volunteers, players, parents and sponsors for their commitment and support of our great game during the interrupted 2020 and 2021 seasons.
The ACTJRU urges everyone to remain safe and follow the COVID-19 guidelines as set out by the ACT Government.
It is a most unfortunate situation that the players, coaches and families will miss the opportunity to complete the end of the rugby season in the traditional way, but the health and safety of our community is paramount.
Yours in Rugby,
ACT Junior Rugby Union
The ACTRRA End of Season Presentation Luncheon will occur on Sunday 5th September 2021 commencing at 1230pm @ The RUC. All members (juniors and seniors are highly encouraged), associates, friends, families, and partners are welcome to join us in celebrating the season, acknowledge the significant contributions of so many within our association, and participate in the announcement of Senior Grand Final Referees.
Once the final arrangements have been confirmed over the coming weeks an Eventbrite link will be forwarded to you to secure your seats. But for now, Save the Date!
Vice President / Welfare
New meeting link for Monday due to logistic issues for the 12 Jul Dev night and General Meeting
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Meeting ID: 918 9522 2026
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Jack will be away on July the 20th and will not be able to take the Tuesday ACTRRA training session.
Anyone want to fill as an option for the 20th?