The power of rugby and mateship

11 October 2023

SPARTANS Rugby is supporting veterans and their families as they aim to set a new world record for the "Longest Touch Rugby Match" later this month.

The SPARTANS Rugby team is made up of current and ex-serving Australian Defence Force and State Police Force members and will be raising funds for Mates4Mates to support veterans and their families impacted by service, as well as three other charities. 

Their biggest focus is to not only support military and police charities but raise awareness of the stigmas often attached to the mental health conditions that many veterans and police officers struggle with. 

“Mental illnesses, most notably PTSD, in veterans still has an enormous amount of stigma attached to it, and Defence and police members who suffer from the effects of PTSD continue to often feel isolated from their fellow service members, while society in general can at times alienate veterans," said Mick Lawrence, one of the fundraising coordinators and a SPARTANS Rugby team member.

Across the weekend of 14-15 October 2023, during Queensland’s Mental Health Week, they will aim to set a new world record for the "Longest Touch Rugby Match", playing non-stop for over 34 hours! 

Embarking on its biggest and most ambitious event to date, SPARTANS Rugby will attempt the world record with the help of two teams, one army and one police, with each team having 14 players, six on the field and eight replacements.   

“Every player who has chosen to participate has done so with their own reasons for being part of the event. A number of the players have indeed suffered and continue to do so with PTSD and associated mental health issues," explained Mick.

"Using a love of rugby, the event brings together a team of individuals with a common goal and, above all, fostering trust and support for each other."

If you’re in the Toowoomba area on the weekend of 14-15 October, then head on down to the Highfields Sports Complex and cheer the team on. Or, if you can't make it, share your support by making a donation online here

To find out more about Mates4Mates, make the call that makes the difference on 1300 4 MATES (62 837).   

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