130 Years of RugbyWA - Part III

Mon, May 1, 2023, 2:20 AM
Rugby WA Media
by Rugby WA Media
130 Years of Rugby in WA | Geoffrey Stooke
130 Years of Rugby in WA | Geoffrey Stooke

Geoffrey Stooke is a prominent name in RugbyWA's history. From captaining Associates RUFC to serving as the Chairman of the Western Australian Rugby Union Board for 23 years, we reflect over a few milestones, including WA winning the bid in 2004 for Australia’s fourth Super Rugby team.

I arrived in Perth in April 1975, after playing grade and representative rugby in the eastern states and PNG from 1965 to 1974. I played grade rugby in Sydney, Melbourne, Port Moresby, Townsville and Wagga. Representative rugby included the Australian Combined Services, PNG, Qld Country, Qld Services and NSW Services.

Upon arrival in Perth I joined the Associates Club as 1st Grade Captain/Coach and from 1975 to 2019 I played 709 grade games for Associates, including 192 games in 1st Grade. In addition to playing, I was an active coach at the club over various grades through to 2015.

From 1975 to 1983 I represented WA as a player and at different times also coached the WA team, the WA Under 21 team and the WA Schoolboy team.

From 1988 to 2011 I was Chairman of WARU/RugbyWA /Western Force, and this included WA winning the bid in 2004 for Australia’s fourth Super Rugby team. The team made its debut in the competition on 10 February 2006. An exciting and proud day for all the WA rugby community!

From 2012 to 2017 I was on the board of the ARU (now RA) but resigned when the Western Force was removed from the Super Rugby Competition.

In 1999 I was awarded an OAM for services to rugby and in 2006 was the WA Citizen of the Year in the Category of Sport. In 2022 I was awarded an AM for services to rugby, sport administration, business, and the community. Also, I am privileged to have been made a Life Patron of RugbyWA, a Life Member of RugbyWA and a Life Member of Associates RUFC.

Rugby in WA, at a club and state level, have been a huge part of my life since I moved here in 1975. It has provided me with outstanding experiences and many friends. I am very fortunate and feel I was lucky enough to participate in an era when the camaraderie associated with rugby was at its best.