What have a let myself in for??? I pondered this very question at the first round game, back in April 2018, setting-up and stomping around clueless at Castlefield Reserve at 8am in the pouring rain, biting wind. Our young U8 Maroons running their hearts out in their first game, my paperwork mulching in that continuous rain, reading the TM manual 75 times over! We don’t keep scores but we sang the team song that morning, it would be a long time before we get to do that again but we did and they did it proudly, if still unsure of the words.
My girl, Cate, loves footy, there is no other way to describe it and after signing her up to be a Junior Member at Hampton Rovers I decided that, given I was going to every game anyway, I’ll help out. Show her I’m also committed to her and her passion, I thought I can do a bit of administration, I’ll give Team Manager a go. I was daunted, mildly terrified but I was welcomed, warmly, inclusively, all with friendly smiles, welcomed to this Hampton Rovers Club.
I grew up in Ireland and went to the Sunday games with my Dad all summer long. I get to live in Melbourne, Australia now and have my wee family here but no one else, no immediate family, no relations, no long-standing ties to the city where we live; I want to build that extended community and bonds for my family. And I achieved it and more, buckets more. Sssh I don’t even know how to play footy.
Each Wednesday and Sunday in all types of weather, I had the joy of seeing our wee team, train and play together, develop skills, unite, look out for each other. Cate is the only girl on her team and everyone wanted to make sure she was ok with that. To her she is playing with her friends, nothing more, nothing less! She was, however, so proud to be that only girl.
It’s more than one player that makes a team, more than the team-mates, more than the coaches, more than the umpires, more than the team managers, more than the trainers. It’s all the parents, all of them. Our team couldn’t have done it without every one of them and everyone I got to know over this first footy season the fills me with deep admiration, getting there on time, helping out, joining in; offering help, friendship, support and sharing the pain and joy of the games. Our team, our club!
We belong, we have that extended community, my Mini-Me’s run around Boss James like it’s theirs and it is. After only one footy season I have gained so much, I even learnt a bit of footy!!
Our Values are Passion, Teamwork, Fun and Respect.
The other benefits are – Family, Friendship, Community.
I know it won’t be my last season here – Go Rovers
Thanks to all at our Hampton Rovers Club.