The Roo Project

The Roo Project was conceived in 2014 when a group of Waikerie residents got together to discuss ways of promoting their town.

Waikerie is off the “main drag” as far as travelling goes and some residents have been concerned about whether the town is dying from lack of people visiting.

An idea was conceived to promote the town through an iconic Waikerie feature. It was unanimous that the greatest “feature” to come out of the town, was in fact a person, Mark Riccuito (“the Roo”).

The Roo has remained a Waikerie boy ever since he first stepped on the Richmond oval for West Adelaide in 1992. The rest is history.

A small committee has been formed and they are presently looking at presenting the project to the Riverland community and getting more and more people involved. As committee person Linda McKay says “this is our big chance to do something for our great little town and derive some income from visitors who travel to the area. The project is not about The Roo, it is about promoting the town and the Riverland.”

Sports historian Bob Utber (a.k.a Citrus Bob) – the driving force behind the project – contacted the noted South Australian sculptor Ken Martin to commission a statue of Riccuito, once funding had been obtained, to be erected in Waikerie and not Adelaide.

Utber said “we nearly always forget where our champions come from when a monument or a feature is installed. Think of Weary Dunlop, Darrel Baldock, Black Caviar and Maykbe Diva – all where they were born.” All four statues have increased the visitor flow to their respective towns since their erection.

The statue cast in bronze will be life size and with a plinth would stand at least 3000mm above ground level. This would allow for the kicking leg to protrude well beyond the plinth edge thus adding substantial drama to the study. The estimated cost is around $140,000 with the money to be raised by generous club, sporting clubs and fans, plus corporate and government support.

Citrus Bob said “I am appealing to all football lovers to get behind this recognition of a great footballer and a successful business man in his own right. Mention of the name “Waikerie” immediately suggests – ah! the home of Mark Riccuito. We need to have more personalities in Australia related to their home town and this statue will follow the Baldock statue and hopefully many more throughout Australia.”

Everyone who contributes to the statue both large or small will be recognized. This is a statue for the people and by the people” concluded Citrus.

 

If you would like to be part of something unique in the historic culture of Australia sport:

Contact Bob Utber on 0407-513-357 or e-mail [email protected]

or

If you are interested in contributing, the project’s bank account details are as follows:

Bank Account Name: RWCC Inc. – The Roo Project
BSB:  105048
Account Number: 4647 8840

Donations can be made through any branch of BankSA.

 

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