150 games and still going strong
Shane Hedges hopes his body holds up well enough to achieve a rare feat one day – stick around long enough to be in the same rugby team as his son.
The 29-year-old openside flanker for Paremata Plimmerton’s premier rugby side was recently recognised, along with first-five Blake Neve, for hitting 150 games at the top level.
Both were presented a framed photograph at the club’s Old Timers Day last month.
‘‘Blake and I had no idea it was going to happen,’’ he said. ‘‘We’d spoken recently about us being a couple of old boys in the team, into our eighth season.
‘‘But to get this, and have the boys do a haka for us, was really special.’’
Neve and Hedges are part of a group with Paremata Plimmerton’s first team that have reached milestones, with a number in the 100 and 200 club and others having earned their fiveyear blazer.
Hedges came through the junior ranks at Ngatitoa Domain, moved away, but has come back to the club. At one time he was commuting from Wanganui to play and train.
He coaches the under-8 Sharks, which his son Aden plays in and hopes one day to play at the senior level with him.
‘‘That’s the dream. There is a while to go before that could happen, but I would love to be on the same field with him one day. He’s a first-five, so he’s not taking after me at this point.’’
He can’t imagine not turning out in Paremata Plimmerton colours.
‘‘This is a fantastic group of guys and the environment is amazing. The support from the community is huge – we have good crowds in no matter how the first team has been going and the clubrooms are full on a Saturday.’’
The Swindale Shield win over Johnsonville on Old Timers Day was the first at the top tier for Paremata Plimmerton in 30 years and Hedges said the feeling was savoured.
Playing in the Hardham Cup was expected, but the team was improving, he said.
‘‘We have really given teams some shots and we’re often in games, but let ourselves down in crucial patches.’’
Shane Hedges in action against Marist St Pat’s last month.