125TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS
The Horowhenua Kapiti Rugby Football Union 125th Year Anniversary celebrations hit full flight over the weekend, with an Anniversary Dinner on Friday night and the HKRFU Old Timer’s day on Saturday before a Sunday lunch for the 1993 championship-winning side as part of their 25-year reunion.
Friday 21st September saw an anniversary dinner held at the Memorial Hall in Levin. Catered by one of the top New Zealand caterers, Ruth Pretty Catering, the evening was one to remember with interviews by Bevan (Alfie) Sanson (Horowhenua Kapiti representative #939) with current All Black and Black Fern, Dane Coles and Selica Winiata. Horowhenua Kapiti Rugby Union Chief Executive Officer, Corey Kennett (Horowhenua Kapiti representative #897), was delighted to have both Dane Coles and Selica Winiata attend the night. “We’re very thankful to Dane and Selica for taking time out of their busy schedules to be at this event. Both Dane and Selica have strong links to clubs in Horowhenua Kapiti, Dane being a Paraparaumu RFC junior and Selica an Athletic RFC junior.”
“Thanks to our rugby community who were able to attend the evening and we hope you enjoyed a special occasion, celebrating 125 years of rugby in Horowhenua Kapiti,” Kennett said.
A special presentation was also made to Horowhenua Kapiti Heartland Team Manager, Nathan Picchi (Horowhenua Kapiti representative #1057), who received his blazer after three years as the Heartland Manager.
An HKRFU Old Timers Day was held on Saturday 22nd September to recognise all former players, coaches, referees, volunteers and administrators who have been a part of Horowhenua Kapiti rugby.
“The Old Timers Day was a great chance for us to say thank you to a large number of our rugby community who have contributed to rugby in Horowhenua Kapiti. From player’s right through to volunteers who have been the heart of ‘Nua rugby, this was our opportunity to acknowledge everyone,” said Kennett.
The main attraction for the Old Timers Day was seeing the Horowhenua Kapiti Heartland team grind out a win against neighbours Wairarapa Bush, 37-21. The win keeps Horowhenua Kapiti in the hunt for a place in the Meads Cup semi-finals, joint on 17 points with 4th place Thames Valley whom Horowhenua Kapiti play on October 6th in Te Aroha. Horowhenua Kapiti Heartland Coach, Chris Wilton, was happy with the win which saw the team retain the PGG Wrightson Challenge Cup and the Bruce Steel Rugby Cup. “It’s very important for everybody in our union and the win is good for our community,” Wilton said.
The finale of the weekend was the reunion of the Horowhenua 1993 National Third Division championship winning side. The reunion, 25 years on from their win, saw players and team management travel from overseas to be in attendance. A good chunk of the ’93 squad were able to get along to one, if not all, of the events of the weekend, which included a Sunday lunch at Fatboyz Bar in Levin, who are also an HKRFU sponsor. To this day, the 1993 side are the only team from Horowhenua Kapiti to win a championship in first-class rugby.