20 Dec HAPPY HOLIDAYS 2021 – Presidents End of Year Message
Dear Vikings Rugby Family
Compliments of the Season!
As we get ready to draw the curtain on the challenges of 2021, I take this opportunity on behalf of the Vikings committee & staff to wish you and your family a fun and safe festive period and a brilliant start to the 2022 year. I hope you all get some quality time with family & friends.
2021 was full of challenges and changes, with the season cancelled, staff, support staff and players leaving (or progressing) and lots of uncertainty, but we have ‘been agile’ and navigated well and I’m sure everyone at the club are already looking forward to a stable yet exciting 2022 season.
Lee ‘Boz’ Boswell – Club Legend, long serving staff member and passionate Viking Lee Boswell has recently left the full-time staff to follow a natural career opportunity. He will be sorely missed from the full-time role but will still be around the club when time permits. Thank you for all the years of hard work, energy and enthusiasm Boz and good luck in the new position. See you at the footy when you can!
O’Donnell, Taula and Sio families – You would have noticed on our social media recently there has been the sad passing of people closely connected to the club. Our sincere condolences to the family of:
Vikings Life Member Stan ‘Slug’ O’Donnell who passed away in Newcastle recently and will be remembered as a pioneer of both Vikings rugby and the success of the Vikings licensed clubs in the early history of our club. Rest in Peace Stan.
Halakakapu (Kapu) Taula – father of Vikings Superstar Sione Taula passed away in Tonga surrounded by family. Rest in Peace Kapu.
Talaopatina (Tina) Sio – mother of Vikings, Brumbies and Wallabies star Scott Sio has passed recently in Sydney after a tough health battle. Rest in Peace Tina.
What’s Happening in 2022
New Staff – By mid-January we will welcome our new Rugby Operations Manager, David Southwood (formerly Qld Reds) and new Physical Performance & Pathways Manager Jovi Ong (formerly Uni of Canberra) to their new roles. The whole club are looking forward to welcoming these talented professionals to the Vikings family as they bring wonderful rugby experience and new perspectives.
New Coaches and Support Staff – The club are close to filling every coaching, management, medical and S&C role for 2022 (with many returning familiar faces) but are also excited to welcome several new qualified and experienced volunteers (mostly coaches) who will help throughout the grades. We look forward to meeting them all in February.
New Players – We welcome yet another large influx of quality Colts players from our Gen Red program, local private school nurseries and interstate schools to further boost our Colts grade depth. Whilst our overall retention of senior players has been very good, the Premier grades are also due to welcome several aspiring new players to the club who are all keen to play with Vikings Premier 1st Grade and progress up rugby levels. We also look forward to meeting them all in February.
New opponents – Vikings take this opportunity to welcome the Penrith Emus to the John I Dent Cup 2022 competition with Penrith’s 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, Colts Grade and Women’s Grade set to compete for ACT silverware. Stay tuned for the release of the draw and our scheduled bus trips but we will have our first opportunity to welcome Penrith in a pre-season trial at home on 9 April 2022.
New Team – Possibly the most exciting news in the off-season is the arrangement that will see Vikings field a whole new team, the Vikings Wheelchair Rugby team. Vikings were selected and invited by Wheelchair Sports NSW/ACT to enter the National Club Competition as the ACT invitee. Some of the best Wheelchair athletes in Australia will call Vikings Rugby home and we look forward to not only supporting this new team but welcoming all of the athletes and support staff to all of our events and initiatives as part of our Vikings Rugby Family.
New Apparel designs – Our esteemed partner O’Neill’s are going all out in the design of some cutting-edge and exclusive on and off-field fashion items for the new year. There will soon be new online sales portals that will house new 2022 polos, t-shirts, singlets, hats, tights, gym socks, replica jerseys, hoodies, jackets, beanies, knitwear, etc. Stay tuned for a huge 2021 crazy clearance sale at training in February and new 2022 merch available during March.
HUGE Pre-season and season – Scriv and the coaching team have planned out a packed pre-season program. With the season starting slightly later (23 April straight after Easter) March and April will be filled with opportunities to play trials with four trial fixtures in Cowra, Bowral and two at Viking Park helping prepare our players and teams.
Planning for our 50th season in 2023 – Taking the field as Vikings in 1973 and having had fantastic 25 year (1998) and 40-year celebrations (2013), excitement builds for the 2023 season and our 50th year. A dedicated sub-committee will plan several big events throughout 2023 to mark the occasion. We will also be seeking ideas for events, apparel and publications to celebrate the milestone so please contribute.
Same old Quality programs, events and dad/pop jokes – We again look forward to running our best practice programs (Gen Red, MRP, Charity events) and especially our Health & Wellness program for club members, Lean on Me, with opportunities to hear from visiting professionals on mental health, nutrition, role modelling positive behaviours etc and many of the club elders will still be around to keep things light with a few (new) jokes.
Rugby Office holiday closure – Please note the Rugby office will be closed from 23 December 2021 to 17 January 2022.
See you on 1 February 2022 for our first club training.
Brendan ‘Trendy’ Allardyce