Premiers host the Future

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3 Aug 2017

Last night saw the Inaugural Paremata Plimmerton RFC Junior Leavers Dinner at the Clubrooms.

The brainchild of Club Captain Rongoa Richmond and Premier player Matt Nolan, the dinner is focussed on the Premier team hosting the Under 13 players leaving the club due to going to High School and playing for their respective Colleges.

"There is a massive gap between the size of our Junior club and the number of players in the Senior teams. The Junior club is packed and this year, we struggled to field teams at the start of the season, so this is an attempt to address this gap" says Rongoa.

Matt added, "In the Prems, we think we have a part to play to ensure that Junior players feel like they can come back and play Premier rugby, so this was really important to us"

The evening was fully hosted by the Tuohy Homes Premiers who invited the Under 13 players and their Parents to a full 2 course dinner that was catered for by the players.

Speakers were arranged during the dinner to remind the players about what a great club we have at the Senior level. Club legend and Stalwart, Ryan Mclean, with over 200 games for the top team spoke first. He gave an entertaining account of his journey with the club from playing for the Under 13s, to playing at College and then returning to ParePlim with the goal of playing Premier rugby one day. This goal was met in and it was the great ParePlim spirit and culture in this part of the Porirua Community that kept him playing.

Next was Tuohy Homes Premier Captain, Tane McMillan-Parata who gave an impassioned speech on what ParePlim means to him. He also played for the club as a Junior and now captains the Premier team. His focus was on the importance of whanau and how the club has embraced this within its culture. With 3 other brothers playing/have played in the club, Tane remarked "Playing for the Premiers is another brotherhood that I can already see you have in the Under 13s which is awesome!".

The final speaker of the evening was Club CDO and former All Black/Hurricane/Lion, John Schwalger. He gave an at times emotional speech about what motivates him to encourage players to come to ParePlim through the deeds he witnessed as a team mate and close friend of All Black legend, Jerry Collins. "Jerry taught me to love this city. To love Porirua and to do anything I can to make Porirua a great place".

He spoke about the amazing sporting talent that exists in our community and how ParePlim Rugby is part of that community and the U13s are a key part to ensuring Porirua continues to produce top rugby talent. He also challenged the U13 players and their parents to come back to the club and build upon the relationships that they had created this year. He had the crowd laughing when in typical straight-shooting front row fashion he remarked, "You have to come back, and to your parents: I'm going to be getting your addresses and coming round to visit you in 5 years time!!"

In response the U13s coach, Damien Harris, spoke about the importance of coming back to the club and being part of it's growth and success. Then the U13s Captain, Jack Vincent, gave a speech on the good times he has had at ParePlim and how he is looking forward to coming back to the club to grow and succeed as a player.

The U13s were then presented with the same ParePlim training shirts that the Premiers wear by the Premier players. In reply, the U13s gave a rousing rendition of the Ngati Toa haka 'Ka Mate'.

Well done to the Tuohy Homes Premiers for organising a great event that looks set to be a regular fixture going forward. Be sure to get down to Ngati Toa Domain this Saturday where the U13s will be playing the curtain raiser match to the Tuohy Homes Premiers!!

To all Junior players leaving the club for College, the Club farewells you and hopes to see you when you finish High School...or else!!
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