Rugby era ends at St Patrick’s College

November 29, 2019

It is with a sense of sadness that St Patrick’s College has decided to discontinue its rugby program in 2020.

Over many decades St Patrick’s College has been proud to be the only Ballarat school which has fielded a competitive rugby team in the Victorian Schools Rugby Union (VSRU) competition.

Rugby was the only weekly sport St Patrick’s College played competitively outside the Ballarat Associated Schools sports competition.

Playing against Melbourne and Geelong-based schools in a Saturday competition has delivered many moments of enormous pride, most notably in 2019 when the College competed in the 1st XV grand final and hosted all VSRU premiership deciding matches on College grounds, attracting hundreds of spectators.

However, the costs and expertise required to run such a successful program from a regional base continue to accumulate and are now proving prohibitive for the College. Ultimately, the safety and wellbeing of our students in terms of both supervision and guidance must always be our number one priority.

Headmaster John Crowley said it was with much heartache that the decision has been made to discontinue offering rugby as a competitive sport at the College.

“This is a sad day for the College as the sport of rugby has been an integral part of St Patrick’s for many families over many years,” Mr Crowley said.

“We have been enormously proud of our achievements in the VSRU competitions as we will continue to take enormous pride in following the careers of several prominent alumni who are now forging professional rugby careers.

“However, the challenge of providing experienced, knowledgeable and available coaching and supervising staff for a weekend competition has proven insurmountable.

“While we have invested heavily in promoting rugby to the Ballarat community, there simply are not enough junior players in the city, nor qualified coaches, to permit the program to continue.”

“We will be encouraging all our current players to continue pursuing their passion for the sport at club level,” Mr Crowley said.