8 Years of Partnership with the Warringah Rats

With a history spanning more than 50 years, the Warringah Rats Rugby Club is rich in culture, passion, and has a deep love for the game. And behind this Northern Beaches institution is a community of like-minded people, and passionate business owners, who are fostering the future of the sport.

Most locals know the Warringah Rugby Club by their beloved nickname, theRats; a title they inherited from DougLeslie Snr, a Rat of Tobruk.“According to history, Warringah experienced some difficult years with humiliating defeats,” explains the Club’s General Manager, Jake Letts. “At the time, players were reminded by Doug that to give up in the face of adversity is never an option.” After that, the Club became known as the Green Rats and their long held friendship with the ‘Rats of Tobruk Veterans Association’ began. “Their legacy is honoured by a memorial on the hill at the southern end of Rat Park,” says Jake. Rock up to Rat Park on game day, and you’ll get a sense of the Rats community in action. “One of the best sites is our Juniors Day, where all Grade players wear their junior club sock colours. Our Juniors play in front of the crowd at half time and Juniors turn into Seniors. It truly is a local club for the community,” adds Jake. As well as spectators, local businesses have, and always will be, an integral part of the Club.

“This year alone, we have around 35+ local businesses who support the Rats rugby program. They are our heartbeats and play a significant contribution to our sustainability. “Bayfield’s, for instance, have been a major sponsor for over 35 years! It’s most likely the longest-lasting sponsorship in community sport history,” adds Jake. Having played rugby as a kid, first for the Newport Breakers, age 6 to 17, Junior representative for the Rats, from 10-17, and all the way through Colts and into Grade, Jake understands the importance of sponsorships when it comes to backing rising stars.

Warringah Rats Rugby Club

“All sponsorship helps as it provides a viewpoint for what local juniors can strive towards as they develop. The Club also directs funding to Warringah Juniors to continually support the development program. We have several partners that support the Senior Club and our Warringah Juniors which ensures both programs prosper.” Partnerships with the Club mean local businesses can get involved and invest in the next generation of Rats coming through the ranks. The Rats Rising Program also aims to create the best ongoing high-performance junior to club rugby pathway and is an opportunity for businesses to support the development of junior players, and coaching talent, through a tax-deductible donation. “The Rats Rising Program was established to invest, develop, and grow Australia’s biggest rugby nursery,” says Jake. “It provides a high-performance program that caters to local rugby clubs and players aged 13 to 20. The Club is raising funds to provide some key positions such as Academy Head, a professional S&C team, several Wallaby and Rugby AU specialist coaches, the purchasing of high-performance equipment and the hire of grounds and gym facilities.”

Proud Sponsors of Warringah Rats Rugby Club

Bayfield’s, Pittwater RSL and Upstate Real Estate are just some of the local businesses that proudly sponsor the Rats! We caught up with them to talk about friendship, memories, and the future of the sport.

Kaine Bayfield – BAYFIELD HOTELS

Kaine, your family has a long history with the Warringah Rugby Club. Can you tell us about the support over the years? In 1987, we owned the Narrabeen Sands Hotel. My Dad and Pop were looking for sponsorship opportunities and decided to support the Warringah Rats. This sponsorship strengthened and in 1999, Mark Holmes approached us about extra support for the Colts. I started playing Colts that year, and we felt strongly about developing the Colts who will be future grade players. In 2001, Bayfield Hotels became the major sponsor of the Club. Now, 36 years and $2.5 million later, we are still the major sponsor.

Did you play as a kid? How does your sponsorship help rising stars? I played Rats Juniors from under 13s and Colts from 1999-2001, and I was lucky to be part of the winning 1st Grade Colts team in 2001. I played grade from 2002-2006 and again in 2008. This has always been an important part to develop and spend money on. Dad has a grandson and grand daughter who play juniors and will hopefully progress to senior Rats one day. Watch this space!

How do we get an invite to the Bayfield’s Box on game day? You need to marry one of my sisters! Unfortunately, they’re all taken! A great relationship goes two ways.

How can the community support your business so you can continue to support the Club? If you’re going out for lunch, dinner or a drink with friends, choose Dee Why Hotel or Belrose Hotel. If you’re buying drinks for home choose Bayfield’s Liquor Superstore. Become a member to save money and shop in-store or online for free local home delivery or click and collect.

What advice have you got for other businesses who want to support the Rats? We’re a family business, and the Club is like being part of a family. Not only will your business get great exposure to the local community, but you will also have an opportunity to join the great Rat’s family. You will enjoy great rugby, meet some great people and potentially make lifetime friendships and memories.

Jason Manning – PITTWATER RSL

Jason, what support has Pittwater RSL given the community over the years? Pittwater RSL was formed in 1958, and over the past 65 years we have welcomed people from all corners of our community, supporting local grassroots sport clubs and charities. In 2023, we joined the Warringah Rugby Club as a Gold Sponsor. Pittwater RSL is proud to be supporting an organisation that shares a deep respect and gratitude to our Defense Force Personnel, past and present, who have sacrificed so much to give us the freedom we have today.

How important is it to support grassroots sports in your community? We believe community sport fosters wellness in physical and mental health and provides a critical support network for families and individuals. Our investment allows them to focus on day to day running of their clubs so they can contribute to the wellbeing of our community.

What have been the top highlights of supporting the Warringah Rats?

• Witnessing the fierce passion and pride of the players, volunteers, coaches and fans. Their energy and love of Rugby and their club is palpable.

• Sponsorship of the Rats Rising Program by investing in the development and growth of Australia’s biggest rugby nursery.

• Having the Rats join our ANZAC Day service and paying their respects.

Can we find players at the club having a post-match celebration? As a Gold sponsor, Pittwater has hosted several Jersey presentations this year. There is a strong bond and club spirit that unites the Warringah Rugby Club across all grades, and we have been lucky to host these events. It’s wonderful to see the respect the young rugby players have for their club, coaches, parents and teammates. A great relationship goes both ways.

How can the community support you so you can support the club? Patronage of our members and guests at Pittwater RSL allows us to directly fund local sports organisations and charities. We encourage the community to consider us as their venue of choice for casual catch ups, family celebrations, events and functions. We host regular events like Family Fun Day on the first Sunday of each month and special events like our Winter Wonderland Spectacular launching in July, with Ice Skating and a unique Dining Dome experience for the adults.


Upstate has been supporting Warringah Rugby Club since 2015.

What does that mean to you? The Upstate passion is all about supporting the Beaches community. For me personally, this club is my community and second family. It’s an honour to support something that’s in your blood.

How does your sponsorship help rising stars? All kids want to be a part of a successful environment and by supporting them from a young age, they will thrive.

How important, as a local business operator, is it to give support to the grassroots sports in your community? It’s everything. The universe has a way of working it out. You only get out what you give back. Sponsoring the Rats allows us to put back in what the community gives us in support.

What has been your best memory while supporting the Warringah Rats? Literally crying as I ran onto the field after winning our 1st Grade premiership at North Sydney Oval. It was a sell-out and a historical moment for the Club. How does one get an invite to the

Upstate Box on game day? Just ask me the question. Unless you support Manly that is.

A great relationship goes both ways, how can the community support Upstate? If you are looking at buying or selling your property on The Beaches, give me a call at Upstate. It would be my pleasure to take care of you through the property journey.

As a former player, what’s the footprint you have left on the club? It was my privilege to play 1st Grade Colts before a nasty injury, breaking my leg, which ended my playing days. I’d say it was a footprint, but possibly just a big toe. Either way, my love for the Rats is neverending.•


Beaches Covered Issue 33: Winter 2023
Publisher: John Vickery
Creative Director: Megan Vickery
Editor: Donna Armstrong

Journalists: Lauren Goldsck and Adam Lucius

Sub editor & Distribution: Jane Hewitson
Contributors: Jill Healy-Quintard, Mark Smith, Joseph Smith nd Mark Gibson.
© Copyright 2023 All Bases Covered Pty Ltd


At Upstate, we truly believe in giving back. By supporting rising sporting talent, local communities and businesses across the Northern Beaches, we build an atmosphere like no other and help the community grow together. Below are sponsorships we’ve embarked on over the years and continue to create an everlasting bond within the Northern Beaches region.

To learn more about how we’re continuously supporting locals, check out our Sponsorships here.

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