Rugby union lovers of all ages converged on the RMC Soccer Field recently, for the 11th annual ACT Vets’ Clare Holland House Cup.
The Cup was the official opening match of the ACT Vets’ 23rd season, and is fondly known as the ‘Tony Ryan Memorial Game’. It pays tribute to the much loved ACT Vets player Anthony ‘Tony’ Ryan, who passed away in 2008 from a brain tumour (aged just 49).
Having spent his final weeks at Clare Holland House, a specialist palliative care service run by Calvary Hospital, the team plays the first match of the season in memory of their mate while raising funds for Clare Holland House.
This year saw more than 30 players in brand new Red and Blue jerseys turn out for the intra-club game, which ended in a 9-all draw. Player of the Day went to Stephen Larkham (former head coach of the Brumbies) for his display of ACT Vets’ values, including sportsmanship, respect and mateship.
Support from essential sponsors such as Canberra Community Bank Group (aka Bendigo Community Bank in Calwell, Wanniassa, Curtin and Jerrabomberra) and spectators who made donations by handing around the Clare Holland House Cup, culminated in a cheque to Clare Holland House for $2500.
CEO of Calvary Hospital, Barbara Reid, said “Calvary greatly values this and past donations from ACT Veterans Rugby and Bendigo Community Bank. In addition to the benefits for patients from equipment purchased with the donations, this event is valuable as it symbolises our many and varied connections with the community.
“This donation is valuable because it enables us to acquire equipment that increases the comfort of our patients and the amenities for family and visitors. The ACT Veterans Rugby and Bendigo Community Bank donation has its origins in the care that former player Tony Ryan received at Clare Holland House more than a decade ago. The annual donation reminds all of us of the value of the life, and the importance of family, good friends and expert assistance when our health deteriorates”.
Following the game, players and their families retired to the Mercure for a well-deserved post-match rehydration session.
ACT Vets Rugby welcomes all blokes 35 years or older who love playing rugby and just want to have a good time and stay fit. There’s no age limit (their eldest player is over 80). For more information, visit ACT Vets Rugby.
To learn more about Canberra Community Bank Group, and how we use our profits to support local not-for-profits such as Clare Holland House, pop in to see us at one of our branches in:
Curtin: 1/20 Curtin Place, Curtin. Ph: 6260 5140
Jerrabomberra: 2a/2 Limestone Dr, Jerrabomberra. Ph: 6299 8357
Wanniassa: Wanniassa Shopping Centre, Sangster Place. Ph: 6231 9024
Calwell: Calwell Shopping Centre, Webber Crescent. Ph: 6291 3385
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