Junior History

On 2nd May 1963, £10 was borrowed from The West Taieri Rugby Club to get schoolboy rugby up and running in Outram. The new club President, Norman Clark, with Jack Hyslop as Secretary, established a committee along with five other parents - Hec Mockford, Bob Robertson, Les Milne, Bill Moore and Dave Peat - and so West Taieri Schoolboy Rugby Club was born.

A single 9th grade team of 24 players was establised, with eligibility determined by weight rather than age. There are a number of familiar names (certainly familiar family names from around the district) in the recorded 'The Originals':

P. Mockford
S Mitchell
R Thomson
J Blackie
S White
A Brewster
K Ruthvan
K Wilson
A Peat
C Doherty
D Bissett
G Garden
A Moore
T Grant
I Hyslop
A Cowan
M Thomson
S Brewster
V Scott
G Reid
R Wallach

Annual subs for players were 2 shillings and sixpence, and the Committee immediately held a day woodcutting to raise funds to buy a set of jerseys and socks for the team. Hec Mockford donated a ball so the boys could practice on Saturday mornings.

An annual pre-season game with Middlemarch quickly became a tradition, forging strong friendly ties. Many years later the two junior clubs became one and the Strath Taieri members now journey to Outram for Thursday practices, and play shoulder to shoulder with the children from the Plains and Stream.

By 1979 West Taieri Schoolboys had sufficient numbers to field an 11th grade team, and that was also the year they recruited their first female player, Donna Allison, who was voted “Miss Personality” at the prizegiving. The following year the Club expanded to four teams in the new age-grade categories – Under 9, Under 10, Under 11 and Under 12. In 1988 ORFU ruled that junior clubs could write to high schools to request permission for Under 13s to be permitted to play for clubs - West Taieri Schoolboy Rugby’s Under 13 team came second overall that season! In 1989 we fielded our first Under 8 team and they won their section, while our under 10 team came second in theirs. In 1990, three of our players made the U35kg Metropolitan South Zone team – Steven Wilson, Chris Muldrew and Richard Doherty, while Paul Butson represented West Taieri in the Under 11’s Metropolitan team.

The Club was going from strength to strength and it was clear we needed more space, so in 1991 the swamp was filled in and we got a second playing field at the Formby Street grounds. In 1992 we fielded an under 7 team for the first time and continue to thrive to this day, with over 100 players and 7 teams.