“As a Grammar boy, you have the Blue and Gold in your blood for life. You’ve got connections and networks because of this special bond. It’s hard to describe what it is exactly; I think it stems from the history and traditions that are passed down to each generation but it’s something you carry your entire life, you’re part of this team.” – TGS Old Boy (1960-63) John Campbell, Senior Prefect 1963, Captain 1st XV Rugby 1963.

John was excited to learn in a recent edition of The Blue and Gold newsletter that the Rugby Ambassadors’ Program is being revived. It was an initiative he was part of during the three years he played for the 1st XV (1960-63), with his mentor the legendary Australian Rugby League halfback, Duncan Thomson (1942).

“He was a great mentor,” said John.

“Not just helping us with skills and bouncing tactical ideas off him, but he would just talk to us about the challenges of life in general, we could talk about anything to him.”

John believes this is a terrific initiative for both the current TGS students, and the Old Boys to forge connections.

“It may take a bit of time for the ice to break,” he advised.

“The Old Boys might need to be patient and persistent, but hopefully the young ones will take advantage of the life experience and knowledge that’s being offered to them and having another shoulder to lean on if they need it.”

John said the program helped him open up, taught him how to talk to others and not to be afraid to ask for assistance when he needed it as he got older.

“Looking back, I can see that it helped me in a lot of areas of my life, not just while I was playing rugby.”

The program meant so much to John that he still has a pair of football boots that he ‘won’ from Duncan in 1963.

“Each year Duncan would reward the most improved tackler of the season with a pair of brand new boots,” reminisced John.

“Everyone wanted to win them!” he laughed.

TGS Old Boys are currently being sought to volunteer for the 2022 Rugby Ambassadors’ Program.

It’s not a coaching role, but more about sharing your passion for the School, using Rugby as the vehicle, so that these young boys understand the significance and pride associated with being a ‘Grammar’ boy.

Will Campbell (1999-2003, and no relation to John) was one of the first Old Boys to sign up as an ambassador. He is excited to have the opportunity to step back in time, remember where he was at that age and watch the boys develop their skills and professionalism.

He owns AIRLEC Australia, an electrical company in Toowoomba and has maintained his association with the School by offering work experience to TGS boys, along with attending GPS Rugby home games regularly to cheer on the Blue and Gold.

Will started out in the 15Cs, before developing his technique and running on for the 1st XV in 2003. He went on to premier grade in Brisbane, before playing professionally in Scotland then returning to Toowoomba to coach the Bears.

He loved the comradery that came with being part of a team and credits the TGS Rugby program for helping him build confidence and assertiveness which have been useful life skills.

“It was about five years after I finished school that I realised how lucky I was to have attended Grammar,” said Will.

“I wish I understood the significance of the mateship and the opportunities that we had while I was there, and the connections that you gain from being a TGS Old Boy.

“That is what I want to share with the boys through this program; how magnificent the School is and how lucky they are.”

Ambassadors will be assigned to a team and will need to attend at least one, possibly two, training sessions each week during Term 3 (July 11 – September 16), along with home games and any away games you can manage.

Several Old Boys have already been assigned teams, but more ambassadors are still needed.

If you’re interested, please contact Head of Rugby, David Enfantie d.enfantie@twgs.qld.edu.au .

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