Rabbitohs Revive Links with 18' Skiffs Training Through De'Longhi and Kenwood
Wednesday 28 November 2012 1:23 PM
From the time James J. Giltinan introduced the football code of Rugby League to Australia in 1908, the summer sport of many Rugby League players was to sail in 18 Footers on Sydney Harbour.
The association between the two sports was such that in 1935 when Australia’s 18 Footer sailors formed their own club they named it the 'NSW 18 Footers League' and held their meetings in the Rugby League’s headquarters in the city.
The sailing club’s first secretary was also the same James J. Giltinan.
Mr. Giltinan’s drive was such that the major trophies in both sports carried his name – ‘Giltinan Shield’ in Rugby League and ‘Giltinan Trophy’ in 18ft Skiff Racing.
South Sydney was one of the original Rugby League Clubs in Australia and won the first ever premiership for the Giltinan Shield in 1908. The club has since won more competitions than any other Club in the League’s history, 20 titles in total.
Since the sailing League’s origin in 1935, it has become the world’s leading 18ft Skiff Racing organisation and boasts the honour of having some of the world’s greatest sailors and designers pass through its racing ranks.
In recent years, the professionalism and technology in both sports has been heavily dependant on corporate sponsorship to enable it to retain the high standards they have set over such a long period.
With the links already established between the two sporting organisations, it is not surprising that they also share two corporate sponsors, which allows each to retain its position of excellence in their respective sports.
De’Longhi Australia and Kenwood ‘Create More’ are major sponsors to both sports and have linked the two ‘Leagues’ even closer with their co-sponsored skiffs – De’Longhi-Rabbitohs and Rabbitohs-Kenwood – in the Australian 18 Footers League fleet.
The driving force behind the ‘co-sponsorship’ and sporting link is the company’s General Manager–Sales and Marketing, Mr. Tom Mitchell.
Never one to stand back and wait for something to happen, Tom was determined to strengthen the link even further and organised a ‘family-style get together’ day for the Rabbitohs at the sailing club in Double Bay.
The champion NRL Rabbitohs team began the day with a two-hour training session in the park adjacent to the sailing club and stunned onlookers and locals with the Club’s level of intensity and degree of professionalism.
Following a morning tea in the sailing clubhouse with their families, several players and Head Coach Michael Maguire went for a sail on Sydney Harbour in the two Rabbitohs skiffs.
The day was an outstanding success and showed how sporting organisations can work together with their corporate sponsors to provide mutual benefits and to show how much their support is really appreciated.
Tom Mitchell’s passion, drive and vision is beginning to make him look a little like a modern day James J. Giltinan.
Mr Mitchell commented: "To introduce the De’Longhi and Kenwood brands into sponsorship several years ago was one thing, but to be associated around good people doing great things through sport has been the key driver to continue what is a unique relationship.
"As a company over the last several years, we have grown through passion.
"Our new theme is passion with discipline.
"The South Sydney Football Club and 18 Foot Skiff Clubs have this in spades, so we are mutually benefiting whilst learning to be better every day."