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New faces join RugbyWA

Thu, 21/01/2021, 7:58 am
Rugby WA Media
by Rugby WA Media

As 2021 rolls in and RugbyWA are now well underway with preparations for the new rugby season a number of new staff have joined the team.

Coming into a revamped rugby department Damian Wainohu and Rhys King have accepted roles at RugbyWA both coming into the organization with vast experience of the WA Rugby landscape both having played and coached rugby in the state for a number of years.

Well known in WA club rugby Wainohu has filled the position of Participation Manager playing a key role in overseeing and working in conjunction with Education, Women’s pathway and Community Rugby with particular focus on RugbyRoos and the new WA Schools Program.

Previously a Premier grade coach and Director of Rugby and head Coach at Perth Irish Rugby Club Wainohu, comes into the role with vast experience gathered from New Zealand, France and England with a proficiency in strategic planning, implementation, coordinating, delivering and promoting relevant activities with coaches and volunteers all with a key focus in promoting participation and growth in the game.

“It’s been really exciting in the first week, I’ve taken onboard a lot of new information and I’m really looking forward to the role,” Wainohu said.

“Initially I’ll be getting myself up to spec with the new position, processes, objectives and outcomes, obviously there are a couple of very important projects already in the pipeline which I’m really excited to sink my teeth into especially RugbyRoos and the new schools project.”

“Obviously being in the Perth club rugby system for going on 14 years now I have had a growing passion and desire to see WA rugby improve, grow and develop across the board”.

“To be successful we need to build and invest in coaches and players from the ground up, improving numbers, skill level and participation in juniors, women’s, schools and club will obviously feed up into the high levels including state and rep all the way to the top tier being the Western Force and Wallabies.”

Working closely with Wainohu and the rest of the rugby department, Rhys King has started his role as Education Manager for RugbyWA.

Previously a schoolteacher at the Department of Education and coach at Guildford Grammar School, King brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in upskilling others and has a passion in seeing the understanding of the game grow in Western Australia.

“My main focus at the moment is just building relationships and starting to get to know the rugby community and find out how I can directly help them and how they can help me as well,” King said.

“Coming from a background in education I think has given me a good insight into what schools and teachers are looking for in the rugby program and if we can get them involved that can ultimately lead to more kids playing the game.”

“It’s good to know what the schools want and what we can offer will be really beneficial moving forward plus being a teacher really gives you key skills such as presenting and assessing which I can bring to the education role directly.”

Well-travelled, King also spent three years in the UK both as a teacher and in a head of rugby role giving him in the insight needed to implement strategies learnt in a strong rugby system that relates to both the male and female game.

“The beauty of travelling especially to somewhere like the UK is you can cherry pick what systems work and bring that to what we are doing here,” he said.

“Things like the alignment between the school curriculum and rugby is amazing in the UK and to bring something like that to WA would be incredible achievement.”

“The key goal is to increase participation, however that won’t happen without a high number of up skilled coaches out there in our rugby community especially at the junior level.”

“By doing that we can have higher skilled coaches in the younger age groups giving players key skills that ultimately will lead to a better rugby product when they emerge into seniors.”

Welcoming the new members to the Rugby Department, Director of Rugby Steve Anderson is eager to see what different ideas and perspective both Wainhou and King can bring to the WA Rugby landscape.

“Now having them onboard alongside new Pathway Manager Brendan Loag and community Program Manager, Dane Lazarus, the new team can now work towards aligning the game’s future,” Anderson said.

“After a comprehensive search, we have been fortunate to secure Damian’s services to the key portfolio of Participation Manager.”

“This position is responsible for the games development and management of key aspects of RWA’s Community Rugby Plan.”

“Damien brings to the role a comprehensive knowledge of rugby forged from experience in the United Kingdom, France and New Zealand game, complimented by a decade of service to WA rugby.”

“I’d also like to welcome Rhys who will be responsible to equip our internal staffs and pathway and community coaches with appropriate skills and ongoing mentoring.”

“He will be focused on providing education services and access to learning programs designed to support the coach and player’s continuous development.”

“Rhys will leave his teaching profession to join our team, bringing a diverse set of professional skills including experience as Head of Rugby school appointments in WA rugby and the UK."

"I congratulate both Rhys and Diemen on their appointments who was selected from a strong field of candidates.”

Wainhou and King have already joined the existing staff group and are already working in getting out into the rugby community.

Both members will join a group of five new staff members to join the RugbyWA team in 2021, to see full staff and contact list click here.