Mr Tregonning leads Aussie World Cup journey
May 27, 2022
Sport is an integral component of Australian culture; it encapsulates Aussie traditional values and sense of companionship. The joining of individuals and communities in sport encourages dialogue ultimately helping break down stereotypes, differences, and intolerance. The competition is not the only element of sporting culture; off field is just as important as on field, and this is something The Illawarra Grammar School’s very own Mr Tregonning has embedded into his coaching career.
A born and bred Illawarra boy, Mr Tregonning was always encouraged to play sport; his older brother being a significant role model in his participation in sport and introducing him to the varieties and beauty that sport has to offer: “I fell in love with playing sport recreationally as a kid.” Mr Tregonning quotes, reminiscent of his early years.
Mr Tregonning was titled as Head Coach for the Wallaroos to lead his team through the 2022 World Cup Tournament. His previous experience with the International Women’s Programme in 2014 as Assistant Coach of the Wallaroos, ‘enabled (him) to get an insight into the differences of coaching men and women’. Mr Tregonning states that the big difference is the two standards of honesty and communication when comparing men and women’s sporting, “Sometimes with the male athletes they won’t put their hand up to say they don’t understand… yet the female athletes are always seeking that bit of clarity. Which was definitely a new experience for me in 2014.”
Although sport is a culture of mateship and breaking down differences and intolerance, there is undeniably a double standard between the treatment of men and women in sport and the industry still has a way to go before reaching equal and equitable treatment in sport. In Mr Tregonning’s professional and personal experience, rugby is still a recent sport only professionally surfacing in 1996; due to the more modern history of the sport, “The women’s game isn’t that far behind the men’s… obviously there is a lot more money in the game for the men’s programme. A lot of the (female) athletes are studying or working and balancing families along with training,” Mr Tregonning states and due to this, “(Women’s Rugby) is still very amateur as they have to fulfil other roles and jobs; yet the commitment and effort is outstanding.” Which is something that has proven to be ‘across the board with female sport’.
As a teacher, coach, and father, Mr Tregonning has had a significant amount of leadership experience in various areas of life. The practical coaching is not the only component of being a leader, it is important to also have an appropriate personal connection with the team. Mr Tregonning is adamant that building a safe culture and environment is one of the most important elements of being a leader. He states that his major philosophy on leadership is, “Building an environment where people do feel safe… to ask questions, to disagree, to be able to be themselves and be an individual. You’re trying to get the best out of the players and that includes understanding wellbeing.” This attitude represents the approach that Mr Tregonning uses resulting in creating a consistently healthy and stable environment, professionally and socially.
“We are going to the World Cup to try and win it!” declares Mr Tregonning. So, as the Wallaroos voyage the World Cup journey, TIGS wishes them the best of luck and we will be cheering them on from the classroom!