Bond builds stellar new home for Gold Coast Rugby – the Fabian Fay Clubhouse

Post date:
April 20, 2018

This Saturday (21 April, 2018) Bond University will open the doors to its new multi-million dollar Rugby pavilion – the Fabian Fay Clubhouse.

The impressive new 1,000 sqm building, overlooks the playing field and features an undercover deck with full glass frontage, state-of-the-art audio-visual, sports medical facilities, a dedicated space equipped for match officials, a boardroom and spacious, modern changerooms to better accommodate both female and male players.

The Fabian Fay Clubhouse, which was constructed by Buildcorp, will house up to 300 guests on game day which, combined with the grandstands and a standing room capacity of over 1,000, brings the total capacity of the venue to around 3,000 spectators.

Bond University Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Tim Brailsford, said the new pavilion was an excellent addition to the University’s suite of world-class sporting facilities.

“This new Clubhouse complements Bond’s existing high-quality sporting infrastructure, which includes our spectacular gymnasium, Olympic-sized swimming pool, rugby and AFL fields and internationally-renowned High Performance Training Centre at the Bond Institute of Health and Sport,” he said.

“The Fabian Fay Clubhouse will be a superb new home not just for the Bond Bullsharks, but for the rugby community on the Gold Coast - from grassroots and school finals, to the Queensland premier competition, to NRC and representative level football. It will also be a fitting world-class facility for national and international rugby and rugby sevens teams and tournaments.

“Next week the Oceania U20s Championships will be held on the Gold Coast here at Bond and the Fabian Fay Clubhouse will be used by the teams from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga, while later this year the Wallabies and Irish national rugby team will enjoy the new facility.

“We are extremely proud of the new Clubhouse, which would not have been possible without the generosity of a number of significant long-term rugby supporters, in particular our lead donor, Mrs Virginia Rossi Fay.

The Clubhouse is named after the late Dr Fabian Fay, who was well-known for his ‘dolphin-whispering’ ability and saving the lives of many dolphins at Sea World, but not many people know he was also a die-hard rugby tragic. 

Fabian’s widow, Mrs Virginia Fay, said her husband’s passion for the game and the family’s strong connection with Bond were the key reasons they wanted to support the development of a new Clubhouse.

“Fabs loved rugby and our three children are all successful Bond graduates, so the connection we have with Bond University is a very special one,” she said.

“He would be so proud - as are we - to see his name on this spectacular building, which will be home to the next generation of Gold Coast rugby talent.

“It will also provide an amazing space for supporters, families and fans to enjoy and support this great game and forge lifelong friendships.”

Dr Fabian Fay was the former General Manager and vet at Sea World. He was coach, medic and mentor in the early days of the Bond University Rugby Club during the 1990s, the founder of the Nerang Bulls Club, President of Gold Coast District Rugby Union and one of the founders of the Breakers Rugby Club, which was the first Gold Coast club to compete in the Brisbane competition.

Following the Clubhouse opening, Bond University’s Premier Grade team will take on Easts to defend the ‘Batty Bremner Thomas Trophy’ – a long-standing trophy which goes up for grabs each time Bond goes head-to-head with Easts.

The team will also be defending the ‘Geoff Bunter Shaw Challenge Cup’ which they seized from the grip of University of Queensland last weekend, when they beat the reigning premiers 20-19 on UQ’s home turf at St Lucia. This was the first time UQ has been beaten at home in 763 days.

The Challenge Cup is named after former Wallaby and Reds player, and former QRU Coaching Director, Geoff ‘Bunter’ Shaw in recognition of his services to rugby as a player, coach, administrator and volunteer. The Cup goes to whomever can defeat the current Cup holder at their home ground.