Stan’s the tour­na­ment man

Central Leader - - Front Page - By Scott Morgan

When Eden rugby stal­wart Stan Fos­ter started a small rugby tour­na­ment for pri­mary schools in 1967, he didn’t think it would still be go­ing four decades later.

But to­mor­row the 88year-old will open the event for the 41st time, with 12 lo­cal schools tak­ing part.

Mr Fos­ter says chil­dren’s love of win­ning is one of the rea­son’s the tour­na­ment is still go­ing strong.

“Kids need some­thing ac­tive and a bit of a chal­lenge.”

The tour­na­ment used to be held at Eden rugby’s home ground, Grib­ble­hirst Park.

But in the 1980s it grew so big they had to move it to War Me­mo­rial Park in May Rd to cope with the num­bers.

“Other schools no­ticed it and said ‘can we join’,” he says.

“Peo­ple see a good thing go­ing and want to join it.”

The tour­na­ment now takes up an en­tire day, rather than just an af­ter­noon.

But it’s not the Hills­bor­ough res­i­dent’s only in­volve­ment with the club.

The Eden life mem­ber, who first joined the club as a child in 1930, is hon­orary au­di­tor and held al­most ev­ery po­si­tion on the man­age­ment com­mit­tee.

And he is still a reg­u­lar fea­ture at Eden ju­nior and se­nior games.

Eden pres­i­dent Graeme Dry­land says Mr Fos­ter’s ef­forts to im­prove ju­nior foot­ball will help the club suc­ceed in the fu­ture.

Last year’s tour­na­ment saw Gladstone Pri­mary share the un­der 40kg cup with Mt Eden Nor­mal, while Man­gawhau Pri­mary took out the un­der-50kg cup.

Gladstone Pri­mary’s as­so­ci­ate prin­ci­pal Jo­dene de An­drad says the Eden club and Mr Fos­ter do a great job with the tour­na­ment.

“Stan’s done it for­ever – he’s amaz­ing. We’re very lucky he does it for us.”

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Club man: Stan Fos­ter, 88, will help open the pri­mary school rugby tour­na­ment he started 41 years ago to­mor­row.

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