By Ron Lane
If the Sign on and Kit Collection Day for the Noosa Dolphins Junior Rugby Union Club, is any indication of what lays ahead for the forth coming season, then the club is definitely in for a big one.
With the sign on covering players from u/6 to juniors’ colts (16/17) the response has indeed been very encouraging. “This role up of parents and kids,” said Junior President Rob Frey, “is good to see as it creates a great family atmosphere and that is definitely what junior rugby is all about. If the families are happy then the club is happy.”
After the necessary paper work was completed the little people collect their Players Kit; this season the gear has a new design. The kit consists of a club cap, ball, socks, shorts and shirt and this is neatly packed into a bag which serves two factors; club games and/ or a day at the beach.
For veteran senior member Paddy Smith to watch all this unfold is indeed very gratifying; for it was Paddy who back in 1990 season started the junior movement. “We were out laying the field for the season coming when a young fellow by the name of Gary Mc Neil and five mates walked up and asked politely –Please sir can we play rugby? We explained that he would need a whole team and the next week he turned up with all his mates from Sunshine Beach Primary School and that was the start. From there we just went from strength to strength.
We followed up by contacting Grant Batty (a former All Black) in Maroochydore; they started a team and we played our first game, Noosa vs.Maroochydore u/12 on the Cooroy Cricket Field in 1991.Things were tough in those days as the only games we could play were in Brisbane, so for the next two years we had to travel by bus.”
It is interesting to note that this Dolphins u/12 team stayed together right through to the Colts and never lost a grand final; and McNeil, the young lad who rounded up all his mates went on to finally play in the Dolphins A grade. A major factor during that era was the incredible parent support and now, on the two Friday sign on days (2019) that feeling of parent involvement is once again the major factor.
“It is history like that,” said senior club President Donald McKill, “that has made our club so strong and proud and for this we take pride in what the parents and the players achieved.” We wish them well for the season ahead.