A History of the Wallopers
The Wallopers are a rugby team of over 35 year old serving and non-serving police, their family members, and a couple of ‘guests’.
The Wallopers were the brainchild of Paul Madirazza, Paul Flood and Tony Hyndes. It started with their first game in Kiama in May 2009. The team for that first games was filled mostly with other teams players adding to the 4 Police. The team didn’t get back together until a game at Campbelltown later in the year. Another two years went by with a couple of gala days each year.
Towards the end of 2011 the Wallopers Committee, and the help of our Japanese consultant
Mr. Hiro, decided to tour Japan. The planning went ahead with two games against police teams during a 10 day tour. A Fundraising Lunch was organised and held in July 2012 at NSW Parliament House with special guest speakers being Nick Farr-Jones, Mark Ella and Bob Dwyer. The MC for the lunch was Glenn Wheeler, and was attended by Politicians, family and friends of the Wallopers. The lunch raised $5000 for Police Legacy.
Later in 2012, the Wallopers headed to Japan, with the first stop Osaka. We did some touring to places of interest close by, like Kyoto and Hiroshima. We played the Osaka Police during the week with a close game ending in a win for the home team. We continued site seeing before jumping on the bullet train to Tokyo. Again site seeing was a priority having tours of the Imperial Palace and a Bullet train trip north to see some of the area devastated by the earthquake and tsunami in late 2011.
Our game against the Tokyo Metropolitan Police was held in Prince Chichibunomiya Stadium, the first teams to play on it for the year. Amongst the spectators was The Honourable Yoshiro Mori, the ex-Prime Minister of Japan, as well as the 2019 Japanese World Cup President and head of the organising committee for the 2020 summer Olympic Games. The game was a lot of fun and provided entertainment for the reasonably large crowd.
Once back home we prepared for becoming a permanent fixture of the Sydney Golden Oldies. In 2013 we attended 6 gala days including Eastwood, Heathcote, Burraneer, Oatley Penrith and Camden. We also hosted the Japanese Mitsubishi team, who flew into Sydney on the Friday night, played us on the Saturday, attended a function hosted by us Saturday night before flying back to Tokyo on the Sunday.
In 2014 we played in the local comp and had the honour of winning both the Guzzlers Cup at Eastwood, and the Sydney Cup at Heathcote. We hosted our own carnival later in the year at Forshaw Park, the home of Southern Districts Rugby Club. We played for the Wallopers Stick Trophy, which was taken out by the Southern Districts Rebels.
In 2015, besides playing in the local comp we hosted a French Golden Oldies team, which contained some police officers from Paris. This game occurred two weeks after a terrorist attack in Paris and obviously was referenced in speeches later at the French Embassy in Sydney later that evening. Again another tough game played in a great spirit.
In 2016 we began planning our next tour. We decided to head to Ottawa Canada to play in the Vintage Rugby Tournament. The planning took place during the Sydney Gala days, and thanks to a lot of support from our sponsors, in August 2017, the team, with supporters (some wives and their children) arrived for a week in Ottawa. We played on three of the six days, with most playing two games on n each of those days, (stand ins for other teams).
This year, 2018 we start planning for the Police World Rugby Cup in Hong Kong in 2017. This will be the first Police World Rugby Cup and is expected to involve many countries from around the world. There are opens, women’s and of course over 35’s.
The Wallopers started with three members and has increased to over 20, with a playing group of around 30. Our first, sponsor, Spackman & Kentwell Roofing are still supporting us as is our media company, More Media Group. We also have a Australia wide Major Sponsor, 1st National Real Estate , along with our other important sponsors being Chrystal Carwash Cafe – Blakehurst, IKeon – Beyond Smart, Newmans Smash Repairs, SuperSolid Financial Advice and FNSI Corp Pty Ltd.
Thank you to all our sponsors. We appreciate your ongoing support.