WA’s junior club of the year, Swan Suburbs Rugby Union Football Club in Stratton, is looking to continue providing opportunities for at-risk kids to play rugby for free in 2019.
The club was recognised at the RugbyWA Juniors annual function and awards night last month, where committee member Rebecca Voice also won the volunteer of the year award.
With 86 registered juniors in 2018, the club hopes to gain more sponsors in order to field at least six teams and increase numbers to 150 kids in 2019.
Juniors president Michael Neal said it was a proud moment to have won the awards as members worked really hard to build the club starting from juniors.
“The highlights of 2018 were the massive growth in our junior numbers, the fundraising we achieved as a club and our under-11s team reaching the finals for their age group in the first year that most of the kids had played,” he said.
“Our under-16s girls sevens reached the grand final and one of our under-11s juniors being selected for the under-11s state squad in the first year he has ever played rugby.”
Neal said the club was looking for sponsors to help with fees and insurance for the players.
“We had many families this year with multiple kids, who never would have played any sport without this initiative,” he said.
“Many sports have such high registration fees, we are trying to get kids involved in sport and also develop social networks for at-risk kids that never would have been involved in rugby without this.”
Voice, who previously was captain of the women’s team, treasurer, secretary, social media and events coordinator, said she had been involved with the club since 2005 when her kids played.
“To see some of the local kids that have never played any sports because their parents just can’t afford the players registrations fees, smile, having fun and not roaming the streets is the biggest motivation,” she said.
“Next season, I want to educate the local business on the importance of helping small sporting clubs like swan suburbs with allowing these kids and we hope many more kids in the local area to play for free again.”
She said the club’s biggest dream was to fund and source its own clubrooms, where achievements and awards could be displayed, as all awards were currently stored in a box where no one could see them.
The club will be starting training and registrations between February and March 2019, with the season starting in May.
Interested sponsors can contact Michael on 0419 900 066.