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Massey Rugby Club goes the distance

From humble beginnings as a junior club in 1959, Massey Rugby Club has grown into one of The West’s premier clubs. Very much a community and family-oriented club, Massey boasts teams of all ages and abilities and has excellent facilities at its Moire Park home.

According to sponsorship coordinator Rhys Hogg, Massey Rugby Club has around 400 junior players and up to 150 senior ones. Players are aged from four to over 60. Each week, 26 junior teams alone take to the field sporting the club’s distinctive red, yellow, and white hooped blue kit.

The club is affiliated to North Harbour Rugby Union. Always fiercely competitive, Massey is a six-time North Harbour Club Rugby Champion, most recently in 2016.

‘Our player numbers continue to grow each season,’ says Rhys. However, the fastest-growing side of the club is the female game. Inspired by the successes of the Black Ferns, the women's game has really taken off, and The West is no exception. Rhys says the club fielded five junior girls' teams last season and will add a senior women's team this year. 'That's the first time we've had a women’s team in the seniors for several years,’ says Rhys.

Given the club’s long history, it’s no surprise that several generations have hoofed the ball around at Moire Park. ‘Many of our older members are now watching their grandkids and even great-grandkids on the sidelines,’ Rhys reports.

Several well-known All Blacks started their careers at Massey Rugby Club, including Ron Cribb, Troy Flavell and Anthony Tuitavake. Mark Tele’a is the latest homegrown talent to join that illustrious group. ‘Hopefully, we will add some Black Ferns to the list in the near future,’ says Rhys.

Massey Rugby Club offers some of the best playing facilities in the country. There are five playing fields, including three floodlit, all-weather pitches. And there’s also the welcoming clubrooms to enjoy a post-match get-together with teammates and family.

The clubrooms are available for hire and double up as a much-needed community facility. Rhys says the main lounge has a capacity of 300 and regularly hosts special events and celebrations. And the recent addition of a state-of-the-art audio-visual system makes it an excellent venue for work functions. There's also a smaller space available to hire, suitable for groups of up to 60.

With such a large club, not surprisingly, Massey Rugby Club gets through a lot of training and playing equipment. ‘Wear and tear mean we have to replace worn-out equipment every season,' explains Rhys.

Funding of $7,327 from the Your West Support Fund has helped ease the burden on club finances. Massey Rugby Club has invested the money in an array of training and playing equipment, including tackle bags, balls, bibs, cones, jerseys, and much more.

‘Thanks to the help of the Your West Support Fund, we’ve been able to keep our fees as low as possible so even more players can get involved,’ says Rhys.

The new season is just about to kick off. So, now’s the perfect time to get involved, whether you are a veteran or a newbie.