Volunteer triples female participation at local club

by Rugby Australia

For Eugene Murphy, volunteering is a labour of love. Throughout his time serving as Girls 7's Coordinator and Assistant Coach at Wests Junior Rugby Union in NSW, it’s fair to say that Eugene has made a significant impact on the club.

With two rugby playing daughters in the family, Eugene devotes most of his weekends and week days to the game. A passionate rugby player from a young age, Eugene hung up his boots after becoming a father, but has since made it his ‘duty’ to ensure the game can be played and enjoyed by all.

When Eugene first joined the club in 2016, he noticed there was only one girls’ team, and limited opportunities for young women. He also identified that there were no established teams for girls to play in after they turned 12. Since then, Eugene has gone above and beyond to ensure female teams have the same opportunities as their male counterparts within the club.

Today, the club boasts 75 players between the ages of 10 and 18 in the girls’ division.

Eugene has even led the Under 16 team to a state championship victory.

Club President, Cameron Sinclair, said, “Eugene strides for integrity and equality, fighting tooth and nail to ensure all our girls have the best opportunity to develop and reach their full potential. Whether it’s helping the girls gain entry level skills, or pushing for access to representative pathways for the more aspirational players, Eugene certainly gives our club his all.”

Among the countless opportunities Eugene has opened for the club, his fundraising efforts stand out. He enabled the girls’ teams to take part in a Trans-Tasmin tournament, which for many was the first time they had been on an aeroplane.

Wearing the caps of chief driver and trip coordinator, Eugene’s efforts paid off when the Under 16 team took home the winning trophy for the division. Mr Sinclair added, “Eugene is our club’s most unsung hero.

He is heavily involved in coaching and is a passionate rugby man. It is his tireless behind the scenes work that sets him apart from many other great volunteers. He is selfless, understated, and cares only about the girls, their welfare, and creating pathways for those girls that will help them carve a future for themselves.”