Rugby coaches, play­ers awarded

Re­wards for rugby greats at Waikato awards night

Te Awamutu Courier - - News - BY COLIN THORSEN

The Gal­lagher Waikato Rugby awards recog­nised peo­ple and teams that have made an out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tion to Waikato rugby in 2018.

The evening at the Win­tec Atrium cov­ered the en­tire spec­trum of the game in­clud­ing coaches, play­ers, ref­er­ees, vol­un­teers and ad­min­is­tra­tors from ju­nior, school, club and rep­re­sen­ta­tive lev­els.

Tire­less Te Awa­mutu Sports Rugby Club board mem­ber Wil­lie Berk­ers re­ceived the Gal­lagher Ad­min­is­tra­tor of the Year award.

Peter Arn­dell, gen­eral man­ager of ASB Te Awa­mutu Rugby Sports & Re­cre­ation Club Inc, said the club is thrilled for Wil­lie to re­ceive this award for the time and ded­i­ca­tion he com­mits to the se­nior rugby side of the club.

“Wil­lie is driv­ing a cul­ture change through the com­mit­tee, coach­ing and player ranks that can only help us in the fu­ture.

“He is a plea­sure to be as­so­ci­ated with and de­serves the ac­co­lades re­ceived by the Waikato Rugby Union,” said Arn­dell.

“It’s al­ways rather hard to re­ceive an award like this when you are part of a com­mit­tee or a team,” Berk­ers said, ac­cept­ing the award.

“This award is very much a com­mit­tee achieve­ment but we will ac­cept it with the same pas­sion as it was given, en­joy the mo­ment and then get on with what we do, and that’s run se­nior rugby at Te Awa­mutu Sports as the 2019 sea­son is ap­proach­ing fast.”

Berk­ers said the award does mean a lot to both him, as chair­man of TA Sports Se­nior Rugby, and the club of which he is a board mem­ber.

“The award was re­ceived in recog­ni­tion of the work we have done and are con­tin­u­ing to do within our com­mit­tee, club and com­mu­nity and I think in the man­ner we are do­ing it, and that’s in a pos­i­tive and so­lu­tions based way.

“As we all know club rugby is ‘grunt­ing’ NZ wide and a cou­ple of years ago we de­cided if we do not change what we do within our club and within our com­mu­nity we will al­ways get what we have al­ways had or worse.

“So we have set to, with a plan to make club rugby great again in Te Awa­mutu and hope­fully at Te Awa­mutu Sports.

“And it starts with ju­nior rugby and goes all the way through school rugby and onto se­nior rugby with its main fo­cus on our home-grown boys and girls.

“But it doesn’t just stop there. We also need to con­nect with the com­mu­nity as we can­not do this alone and we want the mums and dads, grand­moth­ers and grandads, spon­sors and sup­port­ers and the whole town to also get ex­cited about rugby in Te Awa­mutu again, be­cause we are, and if we don’t we will lose it for­ever.”

Berk­ers said they live in a great town, have the best fa­cil­i­ties of any club TA Sports ever plays against, but they do live a lit­tle close to Hamil­ton and have a lot of clubs in a close area.

“That’s a real chal­lenge and we all have to solve that to­gether.

“We need to fo­cus on our home-grown boys and girls and give them the very best coach­ing, the very best fa­cil­i­ties and the best op­por­tu­ni­ties we pos­si­bly can. We want to grow these play­ers to their po­ten­tial with­out hav­ing to leave our town to do it. And this all starts back be­hind the scenes in the clu­b­rooms where my­self and my amaz­ing com­mit­tee spend many hours try­ing to make all this hap­pen.”

Wil­lie Berk­ers re­ceives the Waikato Rugby Union Ad­min­is­tra­tor of the Year award from Gal­lagher sales man­ager, Justin Miller at Win­tec Atrium. Watch­ing is for­mer Black Fern Honey Hireme who of­fi­ci­ated as co-master of cer­e­monies with for­mer All Black and Te Awa­mutu Sports back rower Steven Bates.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.