Introducing Grant Coombe and Community Outreach
Max & I joined TRC in 2014 and were recommended to TRC as it is a non-profit and family focussed club.
What are you involved in at TRC?
When we joined TRC I was rapidly encouraged to help with coaching the U5s and loved the challenge of herding cats and trying to make it fun for the kids. On one Saturday afternoon, Mike Jackson and I got an email from the Head Coach saying he had had a mild heart attack (nothing to do with rugby!) and could we run the session on the Sunday. We were thrown in at the deep end and that’s when we started as Head Coaches.
I also now play touch rugby for the TRC coaches team the Coffin Dodgers and Old Dogs New Tricks teams which combine mums, dads, and kids.
What is your key focus now at TRC?
After 4 years as Head Coach, I decided to take on a new challenge with community outreach on the TRC committee and am still one of the U9s coaches.
Why did you want to be the Committee member for Community Outreach at TRC?
I love rugby and am passionate about getting more kids and adults to play so being able to work with charities, NGOs, and local schools to promote rugby and build a community is a great opportunity to do just that.
TRC is an amazing family that looks after its own and community outreach is an extension of that philosophy where we are broadening our contribution to others and extending the rugby family. While many of us have privileged lives in Singapore there are many who don’t both here and abroad, and a focus on helping others is key to TRC’s DNA.
What have you done as the Community Outreach Committee Representative?
Mike Jackson was raising funds early last year to bring the Cambodia NGO team Kampuchea Ballop to Singapore for the TRC Junior Cup. It occurred to me that there was a famous charity lunch before the Hong Kong 7s and we didn’t have one in Singapore. With that, the inaugural Longer Lunch before the Singapore 7s was born, organised in 3 weeks and raising $7,000 for Kampuchea Ballop.
After an amazing tour by the Cambodian team, we agreed to host a team from an orphanage in Kolkata called Future Hope to play in the TRC senior cup and brought 22 boys who started on the streets to inspire everyone in our tournament. They all now have passports, many new friends and helped to raise over $250,000 for the charity by sharing their stories. We capped the year off with the Curry for Kolkata Kids quiz night which raised over $14,000 for Future Hope.
What can TRC bring to local Singapore communities by providing the opportunity for kids to play rugby?
One of the key pillars of our outreach programme in 2018 is to attract Singaporean kids to play at TRC and we are working with the Singapore Rugby Union to engage with 5 local schools in the Bukit Timah area to help develop their rugby programmes. Once we receive invitations from the schools we’ll start clinics at the schools and trials at TRC.
Plans for 2018 into 2019 for the Community Outreach?
Bring new local kids to TRC to play rugby, a tour to Cambodia & possibly Kolkata, more Longer Lunches (April 27th for the next one!) & Curry nights!
If you’re interested in helping with community outreach let us know !!! -> -> firstname.lastname@example.org
Life outside of TRC?
Family time, BBQs, Touch Rugby, travel & that thing called work!
Player, Club, Team?
Maro Itoje, Harlequins & England!
Your predictions for World Cup 2019?
I predict I’ll be in Japan for the World Cup! Who’ll do well? England to win with New Zealand, Ireland & Japan in the semis!