KNIGHTS CLUB DAY CELEBRATES FAMILY-ORIENTED VALUES
A good feed and a day full of footy is what the Riccarton Knights’ faithful can look forward to this weekend.
The club will celebrate a host of rugby league action at Crosbie Park this Saturday for its 2018 Club Day. The first of the juniors games kick off at 9am and it’s a packed schedule right through until 3pm, when the men premiers Knights look for their second win of the season as they host the Northern Bulldogs.
Club president Jim Barclay describes the Club Day as an occasion for the Riccarton Knights community to celebrate rugby league and cherish a rare day where many of the junior and senior teams play at Crosbie Park.
“It’s about bringing all the teams together and encouraging them to stand as one and support all the other teams,” Barclay said.
The Riccarton Knights is a very family-oriented club. Barclay says they are always encouraging kids to play and getting parents to help fundraise. They endeavor to make it an enjoyable club while being competitive out on the field and upskilling their youth.
“Club Day is about bringing everyone together and welcoming our visitors. We are known as being quite a social club, providing a good feed a good safe environment for the kids and everybody that comes to the club,” Barclay said.
Barclay explained one of the hardest tasks for the club is retaining top players. He said it starts at young age – getting the kids all in the same uniform and keeping them in it.
A Club Day like Saturday’s helps preserve the passion and heritage of the club, which first fielded a premier team in 1931. It is a great way for the club to showcase their talent and remind the community of what the Knights are all about.
Veteran forward Shane Tamatea reiterated that the club’s values are heavily based around a family culture.
“What our club has always been based on, it has always been based on family and comradeship, just staying true to who you are being humble and respectful. That is basically what we are about,” Tamatea said.
Tamatea, who joined the club at the age of 10 and who has played over 250 games for the Riccarton premier side, said have Knights’ junior and senior teams all sharing the same ground makes this week’s Club Day special.
“It’s a good chance for all the kids from Under-6s to the premier side to come together and play on the same park on the same day, probably the one time in the year it happens, and just to see all the supporters all the parents and coaches and just everyone coming to together as one, putting on a show and putting our club out there.”
With the club being based in Avonhead it is a challenge to cultivate a strong rugby league culture. Tamataea explained that the club does its best to put themselves out there and this week’s Club Day is the one time of the year they can put the proud history of the Knights front and centre.
Players like Tamatea encapsulate the values of the club. As a Knights junior, he has attended many Club Days, which reinforce the family-oriented atmosphere within the club help retain the younger generation at the Riccarton Knights.
So far, it has been mixed start for Riccarton in the Massetti, kicking off with a strong win over Halswell and a narrow loss to Hornby. They come into this week off a 44-10 loss to Linwood in Round 3 and will meet the in-form Bulldogs, who have won two of their three games to sit equal-second.
After a host of key players left the side last year, the Knights have several players in the injury ward. Barclay insists they are not due to lack of fitness but broken bones. Two of their players are ruled out with season ending injuries – including their 19-year-old halfback, Zac Riley, who suffered a broken leg last weekend.
This weekend’s Club Day at Crosbie park will be a great way for kids, senior players, parents and supporters to mix and mingle and support all things Riccarton Knights.
“The more people that support us the stronger we can be as a club,” Barclay said.