Raiders players awarded for oustanding season
FOLLOWING an impressive double premiership win in the Mackay District Rugby Union Competition, the East Coast Diesel Raiders Proserpine Whitsunday Rugby Union Club celebrated whole-heartedly at their club presentation dinner at the Jubilee Tavern on Saturday night.
A crowd of about 90 enthusiastic guests enjoyed the spoils of the night which was hosted by colourful Master of Ceremonies Kon Flaherty re- flecting the spirit of what was one of the most remarkable years on record.
Club president Bruce Spannagle praised the players on all their efforts and sacrifices throughout the year speaking highly of the pride it has brought to the club and to himself.
Billy Kaka, who has had a 30 year involvement with the club, was awarded a life membership for years of outstanding loyalty and support and received it in his own humble way that was met by a standing ovation.
Another major highlight of the night was the presentation of the Raider of the Year award to A grade co-captain Ron Croker.
Croker proved his dedication to the team when he returned to the field in the second half of the grand final for the first time in five weeks following rehabilitation from a smashed hand in Round 3.
“He should have been out for the season with that injury but he came back and the cheers from the crowd as he ran back onto the field were incredible,” Mr Spannagle said.
The two teams of close-knit young men were led superbly throughout the season by their coach Hemi Taukiri.
Taukiri, who completed his two year contract with the club, has departed with his partner Clare Hol- land to take on a new coaching position in Ireland, leaving the club in the best shape for decades.
Taukiri praised the club for all their efforts and presented three special awards to Kon Flaherty, Trent Elson and Bill Pratt for their commitment to the club on and off the field.
A 20 minute video presentation showcasing the highlights of the 2013 season, edited by Martin Roveda and Sharon Pratt, also entertained the crowd as they relived the moments which lead to the club’s double premiership win.
The Whitsunday Raiders will be hosting the Hogs Breath Rugby 7’s tournament at the Green Energy Whitsunday Sportspark on Saturday 12th October 2013.
GREAT SEASON: Best forward James Smith, most improved Bill Crossley, best and fairest Dom Kermac, best back Sott Vella, promising junior Raider Justin Chengody and life member Billy Kaka at the Whitsunday Raiders presentation dinner at the Jubilee Tavern.
HOT TALENT: Whitsunday Raiders A grade most improved Tom Dray, most points Martin Roveda, Raider of the Year Ron Croker, best back and most tries Santiago Dominguez-Sanduo, Pablo Roveda and best forward Leam Williams at their club presentation night on Saturday.
GREAT DEDICATION: Billy Kaka has been an integral part of the Proserpine Whitsunday Raiders since 1983 and was awarded with a life membership at the presentations night on Saturday night.