On behalf of the Marist St. Pats management committee, we wish our Premier team all the very best this Saturday in the Jubilee Cup final. We have had a tough road to this point and no matter what the outcome is I am confident the team will make themselves and our club proud.
As we all know this year, more than any other, the spotlight has been on us with unprecedented public scrutiny. Several incidents involving some of our players over the past months have all been dealt with in line with WRFU and NZ Rugby procedures. The management committee has respected these decisions and sanctions on the club and players involved.
At all times we totally condemn violence on and off the field. At Marist St Pats we pride ourselves on being a multicultural club with Pasifika, Maori and Pakeha players, coaches, and administrators, and we oppose racism wherever it occurs.
With this backdrop and a recognition of the need to review our processes we have taken numerous steps to promote a positive culture within the club and individual teams. One step was setting up our first pastoral care team to support our members, including players, with guidance and support when they are confronted with challenging situations - in rugby and life generally.
We have closely managed players' behaviours and attempted to get on top of issues as soon as possible. Sometimes not soon enough, in an ultra-fast paced communications world where one touch of a button can reach thousands of people in seconds. More work is needed.
Our commitment to be a successful and community-based club remains as strong as ever. This Saturday our famous Vatican Army will be in full voice (and costume). It is disappointing that Te Upoko o Te Ika radio has decided not to broadcast the game, but that is a decision for them.
All we ask is supporters to come along and watch what promises to be a great game against Tawa. Please uphold values of friendship, camaraderie, respect and the Marist St Pats' way. Respect our players and management, respect for our opposition and respect for the game of rugby. See you Saturday at the Hutt Rec.
Go The Red Machine!