Armidale Regional Council will be a major sponsor of the UNE Lions Women’s Rugby Team after approving sponsorship of $10,000 for the University of New England Women’s Sevens Team for the inaugural Aon National Sevens University Series 2017.
The UNE Lions were selected as one of eight teams participating in the Series which is the first in Australia for women’s rugby. UNE is the only team from regional Australia to be included.
Council’s Chief Executive Officer Peter Dennis said that Council was pleased to support the squad and leverage marketing opportunities for the Armidale region that a national competition affords.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to promote the Armidale region and support regionally based athletes to be a part of a national competition,” said Mr Dennis.
“Women’s rugby is growing in strength across Australia and the UNE Lions are a great team.”
Council’s support of the Lions reflects a synergy between women’s rugby and Council. Council is committed to encouraging diversity in the workplace – reflecting the diversity in the community, normalizing that diversity in the workplace and ensuring it extends into leadership roles.
“I hope that Council’s philosophy and its potential positive outcomes will reflect that of women’s rugby, its growing profile in the broader sporting arena and its increasingly respected place in the community,” Mr Dennis said.
“The Australia Rugby Union has embraced women at all levels of the game, from the field to the boardroom. This shift has occurred due to an understanding that the key to good decision making and a strong workplace is not just about finding the right person for the job, but it is about creating the right team. It is about merit and diversity. It’s about appreciating the differences in value that people bring - not just gender but also race, religion, sexual orientation and diversity of thought.”
The UNE squad is made up of 60 players from country NSW including New England, Central North, Central West, Hunter and Mid North Coast. An elite squad of 24 players has been selected which includes two members of the Australian women’s sevens squad - Alicia Quirk and Hannah Southwell.
Lions head coach Tom Bower said that the Australian squad had been divided up and allocated to the eight universities competing in the inaugural Australian Universities series this year.
“They will guide the squad and provide invaluable insight to playing at the top level,” said Mr Bower.
“We are looking forward to the competition and are grateful for the support of Council that ensures the team is outfitted and equipped for the challenge.”
“Council staff are looking forward to building connections with the UNE Lions through planned events over the next six weeks,” said Mr Dennis.
“This is another example of Council partnering with high profile local organisations like SportUNE to build brand recognition for the Armidale region.”
The competition will be held from July through until September as follows:
Trial 1- Against University of Queensland: 15th & 16th July @ SportUNE.
Trial 2 - Against Bond University: 5th & 6th August @ SportUNE.
Trial and final camp - Against Darling Downs Representatives @ SportUNE : 17th, 18th, 19th & 20th August.
Tournament 1: University of Tasmania Stadium, Launceston on August 25th and 26th
Tournament 2: Macquarie University on September 9th and 10th
Tournament 3: University of Queensland on September 16th and 17th
Tournament 4: Bond University on September 29th and 30th
Published on 01 Aug 2017