Charity Through Social Rugby
HMAS Canberra III v ACT Vets in a Charity Rugby Match, and Will Then Cool Down with a Lemonade
The ACT Veterans Rugby Club play against a variety of Defence Force teams in charity matches throughout the year. This evening, the ACT Vets will play its annual match against crew members of our city’s namesake, the HMAS Canberra III at 6pm this evening at Portsea Oval, Royal Military College, Duntroon.
The ACT Vets have been playing against the HMAS Canberra teams since 2005.
The annual match was first played against HMAS Canberra II, the same year that ship was decommissioned. The crew from HMAS Darwin filled the void in 2006 and continued to play for the following nine years until the new HMAS Canberra III was commissioned in November 2014. In 2015, the ACT Vets v HMAS Canberra III match was back on.
The first charity trophy – a 72mm cannon shell mounted on a block of jarrah – was played for in 2006. With their involvement, the HMAS Darwin presented the ACT Vets with a second identical 72mm cannon shell trophy. One trophy now resides in the Chief of Navy’s office, and the other can be found at Canberra Hospital.
HMAS Canberra is the lead ship of the two Amphibious Assault Ships otherwise known as a Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) HMAS Canberra III, is Australia's biggest naval ship, at 27,000 tonne and up to 400 crew members. In March 2015, HMAS Canberra III was formally designated the flagship of the Royal Australian Navy. HMAS Canberra III is able to conduct amphibious operations and land a force of over 1,000 embarked personnel along with their weapons, ammunition, vehicles and stores by landing craft and helicopters.
This year's game will be sponsored by The Dock Kingston and Xact, which allows the ACT Vets to support both the Heart Foundation and the Canberra Hospital Foundation.
Former Wallaby and Brumbies great, Ben Alexander, the owner/operator of the Dock, says, “The Dock is truly honoured to be part of this great annual event, and we hope that this match continues for many years to come! The service of HMAS Canberra III is nothing short of exceptional, and it gives us all a great sense of comfort knowing they’re watching out for us! We just hope they take it a little easier on the Vets than the enemy!”
Here’s hoping! The predetermined score of nine all always makes the match interesting.
Next stop will be The Dock, with everyone welcome to join the players from both teams for a lemonade, or two.
HMAS Canberra III and ACT Vets Rugby Teams, 2016
Xact is a proud sponsor of the ACT Veterans Rugby Club, which has raised over $240,000 for charities.