Rugby makes you a bet­ter per­son: Hore

A MES­SAGE TO PAR­ENTS FROM TAHS BOSS

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SPORT - JAMIE PANDARAM

AS rugby league reels from its co­caine cri­sis, Waratahs boss Andrew Hore has made a bold stand for struggling rugby union by declar­ing the 15-man game cre­ates bet­ter peo­ple.

Hore, who is one year into his job as Waratahs chief ex­ec­u­tive, said rugby’s path­ways to ed­u­ca­tion, travel and network of es­tab­lished peo­ple re­main huge sell­ing points de­spite the code floun­der­ing in Aus­tralia amid poor re­sults and rat­ings.

Many chil­dren are of­ten lured to league be­cause it dom­i­nates the me­dia and so­cial plat­forms, how­ever Hore is con­vinced rugby re­mains the bet­ter op­tion.

“If you want your kids to be happy, and be good peo­ple, there’s a higher prob­a­bil­ity of achiev­ing that through rugby and the op­por­tu­ni­ties that come through rugby,” Hore told The Sun­day Tele­graph.

“You don’t have to be an elite player to gain those op­por­tu­ni­ties be­cause it is an in­ter­na­tional sport.

“The value sets in rugby, the peo­ple that are in­volved in the game, and the ex­pec­ta­tions of the be­hav­iours of those peo­ple in the game make it a great sport to be in­volved in.”

While the NRL is flush with cash from a huge broad­cast deal, Su­per Rugby is struggling amid viewer back­lash over its con­vo­luted for­mat, which SANZAAR is at­tempt­ing to fix with calami­tous re­sults.

But Hore said rugby had some­thing in­her­ently more valu­able.

“We know we haven’t got the same amount of money as the other sports, but what we do have is a his­tory of grow­ing great peo­ple and giv­ing them op­por­tu­nity,” Hore said.

“And the other thing rugby’s got is that it’s global.

“A kid could grow up and be a pretty or­di­nary rugby player, but that young man might also get in with a good peer group, goes to school, gets an ed­u­ca­tion, puts his head shield, mouth­guard and boots in a bag, flies over to Lon­don, jumps in a lower-grade footy club there, meets a guy who works in a bank, and be­fore you know it, is earn­ing mil­lions.

“Win­ning the Su­per comp, no doubt about it, is great. It brings in money, raises the pro­file of the sport, but at the end of the day the very essence of the sport, from the bush to the beach, is the core be­liefs of rugby and the fact that we make great peo­ple.”

Hore’s task is to re­con­nect dis­il­lu­sioned com­mu­nity rugby mem­bers with the NSWRU.

He’ll cre­ate “hubs” in the com­mu­nity, where var­i­ous club of­fi­cials will tell his or­gan­i­sa­tion what they re­quire to grow the game in their re­gions.

“This has got to be a peo­pledriven so­lu­tion, it can’t be us sit­ting in a room say­ing: ‘This is a great idea, we’ll get them to go and do this’. It doesn’t work like that,” Hore said.

“When the en­tity (NSWRU and Waratahs) was split, it’s been am­pli­fied by cer­tain sec­tions of the me­dia that Su­per Rugby is the an­tithe­sis of com­mu­nity rugby. It’s ac­tu­ally not.

“The Waratahs are an­other source of in­come to feed the com­mu­nity game. Peo­ple don’t want to be told how to drive a team or told how to run rugby in their ar­eas, so our fo­cus is go­ing to be on schools, ju­niors, and girls.

“We want to cre­ate th­ese hubs of rugby that gets the var­i­ous af­fil­i­ates to­gether, work­ing on not what’s good for their af­fil­i­a­tion, but how are they go­ing to grow rugby.

“The feed­back we’ve had is, ‘help us grow the vol­un­teers and the coaches, make them bet­ter at what they do, then we can make bet­ter young peo­ple’.”

While NSW have won just three games this sea­son and crowds are down, Hore said that will in­evitably change and a greater good will be achieved.

Waratahs chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Andrew Hore be­lieves in the ben­e­fits rugby union of­fers young­sters. Pic­ture: Dy­lan Robin­son

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