by Isaac Irons
Browns Plains Mets Rugby Union is set for a new home in early March as construction of a brand-new clubhouse nears completion.
The family-centred Club, which has struggled for years without a consistent home ground, is set to benefit from the Community Use of Schools program, a government initiative aimed at utilising unused school grounds.
The clubhouse is being constructed on the grounds of Browns Plains State school.
Club President Denise Waerea Te Popo looks forward to the new clubhouse and believes it will be a play a big role in the community.
‘We created this space for our kids and our family and our community to stay here and enjoy. As time goes on, we become more established, we build a reputation, and a better community. I think in the long run that’s what we foresee the club being.’
It’s a long time in the making for Browns Plains Mets Rugby Union, with the project first beginning in November of 2017. Originally set to be completed in July of 2020, the team were faced with another setback due to Covid-19. Business Manager Kathy Jaeger explains,
‘It took a lot of perseverance, a lot of commitments from our members and parents. It’s really important to acknowledge them, and to know that the hard work has been put in, and that all the sacrifices made have been worth it.’
Centrally located in Browns Plains, the grounds are set to be a new hub for Rugby Union in the area.
Ms. Wearea Te Popo hopes the new grounds will allow locals to enjoy their own rugby union club.
‘We want to create it so that our kids stay here locally, so that parents don’t have to travel three or four suburbs away for their kids to go and train and be in a club.’
Ms. Jaeger praises the Government program, which aims to give much-needed space to local community clubs.
‘It’s a great initiative – once the clubhouse is built, initially we become the tenants, and then we lease off the school. And it’s still part of the Department of Education’s property. So we’re also doing the school a favour by having the clubhouse and giving them a new facility.’
The new facilities will include change-rooms, toilets, a storage room, a canteen, and a club-room. Importantly, the club will be disability-friendly, with access ramps and changing rooms.
The management team hopes that the grounds will become a new community hub, and plan on hosting fundraisers, friendly competitions, and community dinners, amongst other activites, when restrictions allow.
Ms. Wearea Te Popo explains,
‘It’s a place that we can call home, that we can keep coming back to.’
Browns Plains Mets Rugby Union is currently looking for sponsors to support the club’s growth into the future.
For upcoming activities and events, and information on how to sign up, see their Facebook.