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Australia’s rugby players lend Mission Australia a helping hand

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Mission Australia’s CEO, Toby Hall, said he was thrilled at the partnership between the charity and RUPA, and saw it as a two-way stream of benefit.

“I know there are many people in our services – particularly young people in need – who will be inspired by meeting these top players and hearing about how they stay positive, keep their focus and rise to the challenges thrown at them while playing sport at an elite level.

“And I’m sure the players will learn a bit about overcoming adversity and hanging tough when life doesn’t go your way from our clients,” said Hall.

Under the agreement, all members of the RUPA (Wallabies, Reds, Brumbies, Waratahs and the Western Force as well as Masters of Rugby Alumni) will join Mission Australia’s ambassador program and support the charity’s services and fundraising events.

“As a massive fan of rugby union I’m very pleased to see this take shape. Mission Australia is extremely grateful for the support of the country’s finest rugby players,” said Hall.

The first function attended by RUPA Foundation members was a BBQ for homeless people in Sydney on 7 August, 2009. Lachlan McCaffrey and Scott Fava, RUPA members from the Waratahs, attended the event and presented homeless participants in the City to Surf with running equipment and talked football with some keen rugby supporters.

Fava showed that Hall’s hopes for mutual learning were already evident, saying, “It’s not often that people sit and have a chat with homeless people so being able to throw a footy around and wish the City to Surf runners good luck was great. I was really pleased to hear they all finished – that’s a great achievement for anyone.”

Further hands-on involvement by RUPA members with various Mission Australia programs is planned.

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