The ACT and Southern NSW Rugby Union are mourning the loss of Life Member Bob Hitchcock who passed away on Thursday, aged 76.
Hitchcock began his contribution to rugby in the region as a player with the Queanbeyan Rugby Union Club before later coaching both the junior and senior teams from the Whites over a decade-long period.
He later became a selector, committee member, vice-president and Life Member of the club.
His coaching career continued to flourish, leading numerous age groups and the ACT Senior team whilst also mentoring the Australian Under-21s, Emerging Wallabies, Australian Women (including the 1998 and 2002 Rugby World Cups) and the Australian Women's Sevens between 1990 and 2002. He was named ACT Coach of the Year on two occasions.
Off the field, Hitchcock was passionate about developing talent identification programs for local players and was also highly involved in the AIS rugby scholarship program from its inception until 1995.
After his coaching and playing days were over, Hitchcock continued to demonstrate his long term commitment to rugby, with his involvement with the ACTORS (ACT Old Rugby Society)
In 1995, he was formally recognised for his contribution to rugby in the region and was awarded Life Membership of the ACT and Southern NSW Rugby Union before being named in the ACT Sport Hall of Fame in 2012. Hitchcock was also a recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia.
His legacy in the sport was embodied in 2018 with the Bob Hitchcock Territory Shield introduced into the John I Dent Cup competition.
Brumbies Chairman Matt Nobbs paid tribute to Hitchcock's influence on rugby in the community.
"It's hard to imagine someone other than Bob who has made such a significant contribution to rugby in the region over such a long period of time," Nobbs said.
"He was a really great bloke to spend time with and was highly respected by all in the rugby community.
"Bob had an incredible career and devoted his life, mostly as a volunteer to the game he loved. Our thoughts are with his family during this time."
Funeral Service Details
When: Wednesday January 15 at 10:30am
Where: Saint Paul's Church, Manuka