Wearing your club’s jersey with pride is part and parcel of a successful team – just ask the All Blacks. And now, more young players at Waitakere Rugby Club are taking to the field in brand-new kit.
Since 1962, Waitakere Rugby Club has welcomed enthusiastic players from across West Auckland. And it’s now one of the most popular rugby clubs out West.
According to Administrator and Junior Coordinator Nicki Parkinson, the club boasts 16 junior and three senior teams and has over 300 members.
Many household names made their start at Waitakere Rugby, including legendary All Blacks Michael Jones, Caleb Clarke, and Kees Meeuws, plus current Black Fern Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate.
Nicki says that Waitakere Rugby is all about community. ‘Our purpose is using rugby to support young and old West Aucklanders to be more active and connected to the community,’ she says.
At Waitakere Rugby Club, taking part is just as important as winning. The club caters to all players, from competitive to social.
Like most local sports clubs, Waitakere Rugby suffered during the pandemic. Lockdown restrictions stopped play for many months, hitting juniors the hardest. However, the club has now bounced back, and more young players than ever are keen to get involved.
Nicki explains that the juniors went from one open-weight team to three last season. And there’s also been an increase in the number of tamariki joining, with many as young as four.
While that’s great news for the club’s future, it has put pressure on club uniform stocks. Some jerseys were tatty and battle worn, and there just weren’t enough to go around.
However, $5,000 from the Your West Support Fund has been spent on brand-new jerseys for junior members.
‘The new kit has made such a difference,’ declares Nicki. ‘It’s really empowering for the players to take to the field with pride in the club’s jersey,’ she adds.
The new season is about to get underway at Waitakere Rugby Club. And there’s still time to get involved, so check out the club’s website for all you need to know.