I am doing a fair bit of work around tribes at the moment, as a marketer.
The need to belong to one, or several, is vital to the human experience.
The need to create one as a marketer is paramount – to find a group of people who will give you permission to talk with them is a core function of marketing.
Many of us may take our tribes for granted – I have my rugby tribe, my marketing tribe, my arty-farty tribe, my cheerleaders. Tribes bond us together. They give us support. They drive us forward. They are our inspiration and our solace.
Much of our humanity and how we experience others’ humanity comes through connection, through seeing and knowing there are people out there like us and we can do life with them.
What happens when there isn’t an immediate tribe?
What happens though when you or a member of your family don’t fit any of the pre-established tribes? How would you feel? Would you consciously or unconsciously miss the connection?
Some people solve this dilemma by withdrawing but learning to accept being apart. Others join a tribe that isn’t what they want, but the need for connection is strong.
And others, others decide if they don’t have a tribe, then there must be more like them without a tribe, and they decide to build one.
To create something where there was nothing before. To engage in perhaps what is one of life’s most meaningful endeavours – to see the value of people and build something that honours them and gives them a community, a connection, a bigger piece to play. Rugby does this in a big way.
Much of our lives have been built and shaped by people without a disability. This exclusion is most of the time, not a conscious exclusion, but rather an exclusion that comes from reinforcing our own tribe’s perspective and understanding.
Girls and boys, men and women with perceptual and learning disabilities are excluded from the frameworks we have established.
Build something inclusive
Megan and Anthony Elliott saw a tribe, a rugby tribe, they or their son Max couldn’t be a part of because he needed a different framework to participate in sport, join a club, and meet others who understood his worldview and the contribution he could make.
Megan and Ant through their GingerCloud Foundation created a form of rugby in which children with learning and perceptual disabilities could play, with the support of Allied Health specialists, other families, Brothers Rugby Club, Queensland Rugby Union and Rugby Australia – Modified Rugby Program (MRP)
They built a tribe.
They built a tribe for children like Max.
They built a tribe for parents like them.
They built a tribe for siblings like their wonderful daughter Lara.
They built a tribe and others saw and joined.
They gathered those around them that too wanted to belong, that wanted to support, that wanted to build and extend what previously hadn’t been there.
It is thanks to Megan and Ant that hundreds of children and their families now have a tribe to belong to, allowing them to participate in rugby and be part of a community that has opened new windows for both MRP Players and PlayerMentors.
A Classic partnership
In August last year, Rugby Australia announced a partnership between the Classic Wallabies and the GingerCloud Foundation. They are putting their partnership into practice, standing in union for inclusion at the inaugural MRP Showcase powered by the Classic Wallabies event on Saturday 09 February at Brothers Rugby Club, Albion (Brisbane).
In support of the Modified Rugby Program and Classic Wallabies’ rural and regional rugby development initiatives, this family event welcomes all participants and supporters of the rugby community and beyond. This event will also see the launch of the MRP Classics 10s, an exclusive opportunity for passionate rugby supporters to play alongside and against their rugby heroes – the Classic Wallabies.
The Classic Wallaroos will also be making their global debut, with a team captained by 18 Test veteran, Ash Hewson going head to head with Brothers Women’s Rugby Team. Should be epic!
This event highlights the inclusive power of rugby, featuring demonstrations of the MRP, which is a world-first, modified form of club rugby which moves girls, boys and young adults with learning and perceptual disabilities off the sidelines and into the main game of rugby and life, as well as a Kids Skills Clinic by Classic Wallabies.
Co-Founder and Managing Director of GingerCloud Megan Elliott is proud to be associated with the Classic Wallabies who are the keepers of the spirit of rugby. “Through this event, we are inviting the community into our union of inclusion, which is a place everyone belongs,” said Megan.
A Classic event
This is an unashamed plug to support inclusive rugby and to come along to see kids play a sport we love in a way that includes them. Come along to see some of our favourite old school Wallabies players like Nathan Sharpe, Sam Cordingley, Radike Samo, Sean Hardman, Mogan Turinui and newer Classics like Dean Mumm and Lachie Turner play. Come along to start the 2019 rugby season the right way!
The event also includes a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play with and against some of Australia’s greatest representative players in a game of Rugby 10s with special charity fundraising positions.
50% of all proceeds raised from the day’s activities will go to the MRP to continue their expansion programme in 2019. This will allow girls, boys and young adults with learning and perceptual difficulties across the nation to enjoy the thrill of participating in a team-based sport, often for the very first time.
The other 50% shall be re-invested by the Classic Wallabies into community rugby initiatives to grow the game. This will include funding kids skills clinics with former Wallabies and Wallaroos in remote and drought-affected areas of Australia.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Classic Wallabies site.
2:00pm: Gates open
2:30pm: Kids Skills Clinic commences
3:30pm: MRP Exhibition Match & MRP Colts Exhibition Match
4:00pm: MRP Sevens Exhibition Match
4:20pm: Classic Wallaroos 10’s Match
5:00pm: Classic Wallabies 10’s Match
If you come along, please introduce yourself – love to meet more of the GAGR crew!