Monday, July 14, 2014

PHOTO of the Week: 'Wanderers 90th Year Lunch'

   This awful 'selfie' is on the occasion of Wanderers Rugby Club 90th Year LUNCH at 'The Newcastle Club' last Friday!! Friends will know I am no fan of the jacket and tie rule and always find a way to be 'on the edge of the dress code.' In this case the ill fitting jacket and black jeans were a small private triumph over 'style' vs 'substance.'
   In my vocation I strongly consider 'dressing up' to be a barrier to new people and a sign that maybe on some level you do need to be 'good enough' to join in... I'm not telling anybody else what to do or not do, I just know who I am 'standing with' on that issue!!
   It's a Wanderers tie I've had now for maybe 20 years.... and at the lunch I was added to a table of Club legends who mostly played in the lead up to and the golden era of the mid 1960s for the club. One attendee was 91yrs old and still enjoying the camaraderie and sense of occasion!!
   University academic and club stalwart Bernie Curran spoke brilliantly at the lunch. He spoke of character and characters and the value and place of club rugby in our sport!! He gave a wrap to just about every legend he played with or against but within his general theme... and was appropriately aware of our current efforts to build 'the best country rugby club in NSW' based at No2 Sportsground in Parry St, Newcastle... the home of rugby!!
   So, I talked of Grand Finals, characters, stories, knees and great times shared with 'real' blokes I've known... in a club that always knew I was a bit different and did some job that was a little unclear but has likewise embraced my volunteering as a 'Player Welfare [Wellbeing] Officer' this year... helping House Captains get that system rolling and helping make 'Tall Tales' away game story sharing happen.
   I can't always quite articulate how much I love this game and how much I enjoy being in and around this Club. It's not very blokey to speak of it... and yet that does happen on such occasions!! I have always loved sport and was not too bad at cricket [outdoor and in] or hockey, but found my niche in rugby union as player/coach... The teacher/encourager in me was always going to end up coaching, albeit lower grades due to the rest of life busyness... It's no accident that after two years at University Club, then switching to Wanderers as one group of mates retired and another group took up the game... I enjoyed it partly because of our success!! I've been involved with Wanderers now since 1983 [with a short and longer break] and still feel 'at home' there...
   My next goal is to learn what we can from our set up year with this program and come back better for it in 2015!! Alongside that, I hope to lose 32kgs [again] at least so I am able to run around the paddock at training and help out more effectively!! No I am not buying or borrowing any boots. Bilateral patella tendon ruptures make that a definite NO!!
   Anyhow, the lunch was great with 'braised beef cheek', cold beverages and conversation... while others kicked on until 7 or 8pm and beyond I cut out at 5pm to go home and rest before a full day at No2 on Saturday watching all sides take University apart!! Gotta love those Uni break holidays!!  OK, off to the Pool I go!!

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