Rugby scholarship encourages elite athletes to chase their academic and sporting dreams
The University’s Young Achiever Award will be awarded from 2012 to one of the three best players in the Victorian Schools’ Rugby Union (VSRU) competition, as decided by the VSRU and the University.
The education scholarship, worth up to $5000, will be jointly funded by the University and the Melbourne University Rugby Football Club (MURFC). It forms part of a broader ‘Education Partner’ agreement between the University and the new Super Rugby team the Melbourne Rebels.
Provost Professor John Dewar officially announced the new award at MURFC’s 2011 season launch and Rebels welcome reception at University House on 17 February.
The function was attended by many dignitaries including Rebels Chairman Mr Harold Mitchell AC, University of Melbourne Alumnus and Rebels CEO Ross Oakley and Rebels Julian Huxley and Luke Jones.
Simon Davis, MURFC President, said the award honoured the spirit of former University alumnus Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop.
“We will look for a player who exemplifies the attributes Sir Weary made famous, those of leadership, academic endeavor and sporting excellence,” he said.
“Sir Weary started at the University club before becoming the first Victorian-born player to make the Wallabies squad. His achievements both on and off the sporting field provide a great model for future Rebel rugby players."
Professor Dewar said the award aligned with the University’s priorities.
“We want to attract the best and brightest, and sport is one element of that. We are already home to more than forty different sporting clubs and four thousand members, so any future participants are guaranteed access to a committed sporting community,” he said.
MURFC has had a long association with rugby in Victoria, starting as one of the foundation members of the Victorian Rugby Union in 1909.