Ti­tahi Bay Rap­tors score award

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - VIR­GINIA FAL­LON

‘‘Our motto is 4TK - for the kids, that's why ev­ery­one is do­ing it’’

A year ago the Rap­tors sports club didn’t have a ball, cones, or a whis­tle now they have 152 play­ers and an award.

On Wednesday night the Ti­tahi Bay based Rap­tors Tag Club scored the top prize in the Porirua sec­tion of the Welling­ton Air­port Re­gional Com­mu­nity Awards.

Club sec­re­tary Bar­bara Ed­monds said the club was a per­fect ex­am­ple of a grass roots or­gan­i­sa­tion backed by lo­cal busi­nesses.

‘‘It’s only hap­pened be­cause of the par­ents and busi­nesses that have put their hands up...we had one thing in com­mon which was our kids.’’

At the wind-up of the 2014 winter rugby union sea­son, a group of rugby par­ents de­cided to reg­is­ter their kid’s team into the Porirua City Tag sum­mer mod­ule, to help keep their kid’s rugby skills up over the sum­mer.

Ed­monds said af­ter the first sea­son par­ents formed a small com­mit­tee and opened up reg­is­tra­tions to any other fam­i­lies who were keen to play.

‘‘The re­sponse was over­whelm­ing, over three reg­is­tra­tion nights we had 152 kids and 22 adults reg­is­ter to play. We had to turn 30 kids away which was so hard.’’

She said the ma­jor­ity of play­ers had never played the sport be­fore and the small com­mit­tee be­gan scram­bling for the com­ing com­pe­ti­tion.

‘‘We had a month to pre­pare and had no gear, no balls, no cones, whistles or flags. We had uni­forms from the last year and no coaches or man­agers.’’

‘‘Lo­cal busi­nesses re­ally got be­hind us, Bun­nings, C Gas Plumb­ing, uni­form provider CUS and Delmira Homes have been great.

‘‘Our motto is 4TK - for the kids, that’s why ev­ery­one is do­ing it.’’

Ed­monds, a lawyer and mother of 8, said the award was a sur­prise and recog­ni­tion for the hours of vol­un­tary work put in by the com­mit­tee.

‘‘The ma­jor­ity of our fam­i­lies are from Porirua, but fam­i­lies are trav­el­ling from around Welling­ton which shows it’s ful­fill­ing a need.’’

Mayor Nick Leggett said the Rap­tors were wor­thy Supreme Award win­ners, hav­ing made a huge im­pact on the non-con­tact sport in Porirua.

‘‘The club’s vol­un­teers work in­cred­i­bly hard to make the Rap­tors child-cen­tred, they pro­mote health mes­sages to whanau, and through fundrais­ing have pro­vided play­ers with sports gear and made par­tic­i­pa­tion pos­si­ble for all.

‘‘With a cul­tural mix of Ma¯ori, Pa­cific Is­lands and Pa¯keha whanau, the Rap­tors are a won­der­ful ex­am­ple of how our di­verse com­mu­nity can build strong con­nec­tions, and cel­e­brate health and well­be­ing, all for the ben­e­fit of our kids.’’

PHOTO: KEVIN STENT

Two chil­dren watch as the Plim­mer­ton coast­line takes a bat­ter­ing from stormy seas at high tide at mid­day on Sun­day. Roads around Porirua were closed on Satur­day night and Sun­day af­ter­noon be­cause of the ris­ing sea lev­els and big waves. Read more on P46.

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