Waimate Rugby Club is gearing up for the 2017 season.

The Waimate Rugby Club is gearing up for the 2017 season this weekend with two pre-season games. The Senior B’s travel  to Mt Summers for the traditional fixture and the Seniors play Oamaru Athletic at Manchester Park at 3pm. Spectators are most welcome, and also to enjoy our hospitality in the clubrooms after the game.

The Senior side travelled to Alexandra last weekend and played a great brand of rugby to come out victors 55-12. The positive talk has dragged a few more players out of the wood work. Well done guys and Taine Tangiora gained the player of the day performance at prop with his first senior game.

I would like to welcome a number of new faces into our club that have shifted here for work, marriage or are returning home after finishing their education. These boys will be introduced in the club programme through the course of the season.

The Senior team coaches are Barry Caird who is well known locally, and Kelvin Sadler a livestock agent for PGW who helped coach our age group team a couple of years ago. The manager is Grant Hayman with Andrew Davidson assisting.

The Senior B coaches are Mike Moffat and Connor Farrell. Manager Graham Watts. Mike a Dairy Farmer from Morven put a lot of effort into coaching our JAB before following his boys as they pursued their careers. Connor has been a great contributor to our club and has stepped into a coaching role. Watty has been involved with our club for a long time and it’s great to see him coming back to take a managerial role with the B’s.

There is no local Under 18 competition this year but there is a combined team playing in the Ellesmere/Mid Canterbury competition which some of our boys are playing in.

The Under 16 team has Simon McRae and Willie Sheddan coaching and Gary Thompson as Manager.

The under 14 1/2s don’t have enough numbers to field a team but have plenty of enthusiasm so 11 boys are travelling with coach Carl Jenson to play in either of two even Roncalli teams and the travel  to training is being funded by the club.

The JAB is run by the JAB committee but very much the life blood of the club.

Prospective players can contact our club captain Bevan Gardner 0276898176.

I would like to acknowledge the contribution Kieran Moffat has brought to pre-season training helping develop micro skills and making training enjoyable. Kieran has been a professional player and it is nice to see him bringing his skills back into the community he was brought up in. I would also like to thank Sean Tracey, the kicking coach, who was part of the coaching team last time the club won the championship a few years ago.

Club spirit is at a long time high being driven by a well balanced committee with five players on it. Their drive is a breath of fresh air and a couple of fundraisers have been hugely successful.

Morven Hall clean up working bee

Morven Hall clean up working bee by Waimate RFC

The cleanup of the Morven hall was a major undertaking that over 40 members turned up to one Saturday. As incoming president this was one of my proudest moments to be part of this club and will hold us in good stead for the rest of the season.

The Quiz night implemented by Flyn Mitchell and Matt Hayman was a huge success. Thanks to Fabia Fox and her Dad for the time they put into the wee small hours making sure there were enough questions. We are extremely grateful to the many volunteers that make our club such a vibrant part of our community.

The club is also extremely well supported by local sponsors whom help make the game affordable at all ages and the cattle grazers and lamb donors whom make a huge contribution to boosting our playing stocks so that we are competitive.