1. Hi Pete! Last September the Beach Rugby Australia edition was held on the beautiful beach of of Kirra! Tell us a bit about how everything.
BRA: Beach Rugby Australia, now only in our 2nd year emulates the European Beach Rugby event programs and festivals. Beach Rugby Australia’s identity is now established as new exciting beach spectacle. The games played on Kirra Beach where fast and furious with a backdrop of ocean blue seas, plenty of sunshine and powder white sand. Our numbers doubled from last year with 28 teams enjoying a hugely successful “Spring Break” event weekend with over 3500 spectators watching on – creating an amazing atmosphere for players and supporters.
Rui Loureiro Figueira Beach Rugby Director with Peter Hickey and Melissa Manley during the Beach Rugby Australia 2018 inaugural edition.
2. Looking back into the 2018 edition, can you already spot some improvements?
BRA : Yes 2018 in our inaugural year was testing due to unseasonal cyclonic conditions hitting South East Queensland – most sporting events where cancelled due to flooding & road closures
We went ahead with no cancellations – what we learnt was from those horrendous condition all our teams enjoyed their first true taste of Beach Rugby – glowing feedback – so imagine if they liked Beach Rugby in those condition what would a little sunshine deliver – yes 2019 delivered picture perfect weekend day.
3. We know that are already some bigger projects for the near future. Can you reveal something?
BRA : To assist further with the sport of Beach Rugby and its future in Australia we commissioned a 30min television documentary – will be shown on Fox Sport around late December / early January The Beach Rugby Australia brand has seeded huge interest around Queensland Rugby Districts with events confirmed and in planning mode for Townsville / Rockhampton / Toowoomba / Sunshine Coast.
We are proud in securing 2020 Pan Pacific Masters Beach Rugby – ideal extension to build the sport. Beach Rugby Australia will host Pan Pacific Masters Games – Beach Rugby (November 6 -16 Broadbeach Gold Coast ) – Pan Pacific Masters attract 16,500 competitors across 44 sports.
4. Having some Rugby Legends like Lote Tuqiri and Christian Cullen onboard, must be a great help spreading the word of Beach Rugby around. How do you see the tournament evolving over the next years?
BRA : Yes when we identified Beach Rugby has no line outs or scrums it was a great opportunity to market both Rugby League and Rugby Union players here in Australia – so Lote being a Dual International ticked both boxes so we appointed him as our Ambassador – Christian Cullen All Black Legend was appointed as our New Zealand Tour Captain – bringing a team of supporters across the Tasman to play Beach Rugby – both Lote & Christian played in our Corporate Charity Game.
Next February we head off to Townsville for our inaugural Northern Australian Beach Rugby Championships – we can now add one of the greatest Rugby League Legends – Jonathan Thurston (JT) who will play Beach Rugby Charity Game – Lote’s Wallabies Legends V’s JT’s Legends of Leagu.
5. How would you convince anyone to go and participate in your tournament?
BRA : That’s an easy question straight from the European Beach Rugby script – we follow / adapt the same DNA – CELEBRATE / PLAY / PARTY – what other beach sports can deliver that ?!