Japan Tour to Sanda
Every year, Wahroonga Rugby Club in Sydney, and Sanda Rugby Club in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, come together in a cultural exchange, celebrating the power of rugby to bring people together.
Every second year, U11 and U12 teams from Wahroonga travel to Sanda (about an hour north-west of Osaka), to play rugby, meet new friends, and experience a lifestyle very different to that on the North Shore. The people of the Sanda Rugby Club visit Wahroonga on the alternate years.
The special relationship between Wahroonga Rugby Club and Sanda Rugby stemmed from the vision of Dr. Shigeki Taba (1942-2010). Following a visit to Sanda’s sister city, The Blue Mountains, in 1996, Dr. Taba – a passionate rugby man – pursued a dream to establish a rugby relationship with an Australian club. Reciprocal tours and international competition would become a firm basis for understanding, friendship and preparation for later life.
Sanda Rugby contacted The Blue Mountains City Council, which then referred them to David Campese who, as then patron of Wahroonga Rugby Club, organised contact with the club. Following this initial contact in 1996, and with much hard work by both rugby clubs, Dr. Taba’s vision became a reality with the first tour from Wahroonga to Sanda taking place in the following year, 1997.
Each year our clubs take turns visiting each other. The 8-10 day tour is a combination of rugby games, sightseeing and various formal and informal functions. It provides a wonderful opportunity for touring players to gain valuable rugby experience. Both players and adult tourers are billeted with local families, and are therefore immersed in a different culture, customs and way of life for the duration of their visit.
Sadly, Dr. Taba passed away in 2010.
2019 Outbound Tour Information
Being Selected to Tour
It is a privilege to be selected to tour with the Wahroonga Rugby Club to Sanda, and players are chosen on merit. The selection committee looks for players who are mature, dedicated to the team, considerate of others, and have a history of service to the club.
In 2013, Tourists Mike & Trent Muskens found that their host ‘Mum’ developed a unique – and very effective – way of communicating their daily itinerary…
“Every morning our Japanese host mum (Tomomi Takeuchi), would draw out what was happening that day, and leave it on the breakfast table for us. She drew, because she only knew a few words of English.”
Click to view all 7 days of their tour in pictures – brilliant!