If helping your kids be more healthy and active is a goal, the Hastings Valley Vikings Rugby Club may just have a solution! The club is offering a “Play Rugby for $20” deal, which is a great incentive to have fun, while getting fit! Heath Cahalan explains that the club currently fields U14s, U16s and U18s teams, and they’re actively seeking more junior players to join the ranks.
Hi Heath. What’s your role with Hastings Valley Vikings Rugby, and how long have you been involved with the club?
I am the publicity officer for the Vikings. I deal with the media and marketing side of things. This is my third year with the club; it’s gone very fast.
The club is very keen to attract more junior players. What ages can the club cater for? Can girls play, as well as boys?
We have three junior teams: u14s, u16s and u18s (male).
Last year we had an open girls’ team, but as a lot of the girls have moved away for university/work, unfortunately we don’t have a women’s team this year.
I do know that there will be a game between the “MNC Barbarians” team and the Pirates at some stage this year.
For more details, get in contact with us via our Facebook (Hastings Valley Vikings Rugby Union Club).
Why would you encourage kids to play rugby – what are the benefits?
We know that regular physical activity has a positive impact on academic performance. Vikings Juniors train twice a week and then play a game on the Saturday, making it a very beneficial extracurricular activity.
Playing Rugby drastically improves gross motor skills like hand eye co-ordination, as well as your balance, agility, power and speed skill set.
Due to the amount of running in Rugby, cardiovascular levels can be drastically improved. We know that an increase in such thresholds can help reduce the risk of asthma, bone and join issues, sleep complications and early onset of diabetes and heart disease.
In terms of social and emotional wellbeing, Rugby teaches players the value of sportsmanship, comradery and admiration. Each year juniors make a lot of new friends from schools all over the Mid North Coast of NSW.
At the Vikings club, we know that spending time and money on our juniors isn’t a cost – it’s an investment – which is why this season we are offering the “Play Rugby for $20” deal. The deal includes a training kit, $100 cash back on registration and a Super Rugby Season Pass, on top of being able to run around and have fun with your mates.
Yes, there are some special incentives to join the Vikings! How have the NSW Waratahs come on board to help support our junior Rugby players?
The Waratahs have come on board this year and offered free junior Rugby passes for the 2018 Super Rugby Season. This means any Viking junior can go and see any of the Super Rugby Games for free.
The Government currently offers an “active kids” incentive too. How can this benefit those wanting to play Rugby?
The active kids voucher is a NSW Government initiative to get more Australian children physically active, for longer periods of time.
According to the NSW Government, it is estimated that one in five children in NSW are above the healthy weight range. Playing Rugby and receiving the active kids rebate is just a bonus in retrospect of having fit and healthy children.
What gear – clothing, footwear etc. do juniors need to provide if they want to be a Viking?
The club will supply each junior with a light or dark green training top (full warning: Vikings have an in-house rivalry between light green and dark green … choose light green at your own peril!), shorts, socks, bag and a polo shirt that can be worn to all our various functions (sponsors day, ladies day, presentation night).
For an additional fee, we also offer custom Vikings headgear, towels and Budgie Smugglers (speedos). We also have club hats, jumpers, jackets, shirts and ties.
Juniors will need to buy their own football boots, but mention the Vikings club to SportsPower in Port Macquarie, and they will donate 5% of the purchased amount to our club.
Where and when do your junior members regularly meet for training?
Junior training is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:45pm at Oxley Oval. We have just installed new lights at the ground, so we can train at night. It wont be long before the new clubhouse commences either, which will include two new change rooms, toilets and showers, disability access, a first aid and referees’ room, as well as a canteen and grandstand for our members and visitors.
What comps do juniors currently play in – is travelling away for matches a regular activity?
All Vikings teams play in the Mid North Coast Rugby competition.
The draw is pretty fair when it comes to the number of home and away games. For our away games (such as Kempsey and Wauchope), we organise a bus for the team.
Where can we sign up/find out more information?
If you would like to find out more information about playing Rugby, contact us on Facebook or Instagram: Hastings Valley Vikings Rugby Club.
Our “Play Rugby for $20” offer has been sent out to each school and placed in their newsletter and on their community notice board.
You can also call our junior representative (and Rego Guru) Scott McManus on 0411 861 059.
Final say …
The Vikings Rugby Club strikes a healthy balance between wanting to be successful on the field, but then also social off it. It’s a very family and community-oriented club.
We have builders, doctors, teachers, policemen, Council workers (just to name a few); it’s a mixed bag, but at the end of the day we all come together for the love of Rugby, family and friends.
Interview by Jo Robinson.