Raising money through Rugby

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June 30 is shaping up to be a phenomenal day … the Port Pirates will go head to head with the Hastings Valley Vikings in a no-holds-bared clash at Stuart Park, and as their last match resulted in a tie, both teams will be even more determined to come out on top. But the day is not just about the Rugby …

Port Pirates’ first grade Coach, Marc Minor, and Second Rower and committee member, Sam Atkinson, reveal that money raised on the day through donations, raffles and a special auction will all go to benefit Legacy …

What position do you both hold with the Port Pirates?

Sam: This is my second year of being involved with the club as a first grade player. At the end of the year last year, I was asked to join the committee.

I absolutely love the club. The atmosphere and overall culture of the club is what attracts me to it and makes me want to help out more. It’s such a family oriented, community minded organisation to be involved with – not just another sporting club.

Marc: I’ve been involved with the club on and off for 15 years – the last two as the first grade Coach.
Two years ago, when I coached the under 18s, we held a pink jumper day to target breast cancer and raise money for the Hasting Cancer Trust. This year we decided to hold another charity day – this time for Legacy.

So, what is the event you have organised that will help raise funds for Legacy?

Marc: On Saturday 30 June at Stuart Park, it’s the home game: Hastings Valley Vikings versus the Port Macquarie Pirates – and also our Derby. It will be a huge day and a great match; there’ll be matches for reserve grade, first grade, the under 18s and the Golden Oldies.For the first grade game, there will be specially designed jerseys – they’re in the club colours, but they’re a camouflage pattern. Our sponsors, The Westport Club and Finnian’s Irish Tavern, have been wonderful and chipped in extra funds to help us purchase these jerseys, which the first grade players will have the first option to buy.

The jerseys that aren’t purchased by the players will be auctioned, with all the money raised from the sale going to Legacy. These jumpers will be highly sought after – they’re one-off items.

Other events on the day will include requests for gold coin donations and raffles. One of the raffle prizes will be a football signed by the 2011 World Cup Wallabies team and another will be one of the special jerseys.
What time will the various grade matches kick off?

Sam: The under 18s will kick off around 12pm. Reserve grade will kick off at 1.30pm and first grade will follow at 3.15pm. The Golden Oldies match will be played in between. The auction will probably commence about 6pm, after the completion of speeches and other post-game formalities. There will be full bar facilities and a canteen for food available on the day.

It’s going to be an amazing event – the local Cadets will be involved on the day as well.

There’ll be a function after the match for players and supporters – in the past we’ve held barbecues and Mexican nights, which have been a great fun night for all the family. Being the local Derby, there will be passionate supporters on both sides of the field – and it’s the supporters and families who really make the day.

Marc: While this day is about Legacy and the valuable work they do, we’re also hoping to have some special offers in place for Returned Servicemen and women on the day. We’d love all of the ex-servicemen and women to come down with their families on the day.
Why did you choose Legacy as the worthy recipients of the day? 

Marc: I feel in Australia we’re starting to recognise the input our services have had into our way of life – but I don’t think this was always the case. This is one way of helping the families of those who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice and haven’t returned from duty, and at the same time we can provide recognition for both returned and current service personnel. Many people these days personally know someone who’s been involved with Afghanistan, Iraq or Timor.

Sam: Also, raising awareness of what Legacy does is important, as many people don’t really know much about the organisation.

Tell us a bit more about the special jerseys you’ll be auctioning off. How much time and effort was put into organising them for the club?

Marc: Coast 2 Coast Sports in Port Macquarie are a great local company. Nick Prior has done a fabulous job helping us put the jerseys together, and it was all organised very quickly. As mentioned, the jerseys are a camouflage pattern, with Legacy printed across the back. Coast 2 Coast also make uniforms for the NSW netball side and a host of other high level sporting teams.
How’s the season going for the Pirates so far?

Marc: We’re unbeaten. We did have a major injury in the Zone Game, with a broken leg. Our first grade and reserve grade have been putting in a major effort to help cover this injury. Yes – we’re unbeaten at the moment … but it’s been tough out there!

Sam: It’s probably the most competitive Rugby’s been on the Mid North Coast for quite a few years. Coffs Harbour, Hastings Valley Vikings, Kempsey and South West Rocks … it’s been a very tight competition, but I’d expect us to be there at the pointy end of the competition.
Apart from turning up on 30 June, how else can the community get behind you guys?

Sam: If anyone sees us selling raffle tickets at The Westport Club, or people from the Cadets or Legacy around town selling tickets, please help us out. There are some great prizes. Make  a gold coin donation on the day at Stuart Park, and hang around after the game for the auction.

How should people get in touch with you if they’re interested in finding out more about the Derby?

Sam: They can call me on: 0487 338 042.Thanks guys.

Interview by Jo Atkins.

This story was published in issue 79 Greater Port Macquarie Focus

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