Our Stories: Issue 62 

The Taranaki Rugby Football Union (TRFU) was established in 1885 to provide rugby in the region. The Provincial Union focuses on representative rugby, including the Yarrows Taranaki Bulls and Port Taranaki Whio, junior, secondary and club rugby.

Laurence Corlett, Chief Executive, said community rugby is the breeding ground for the province's future first-class talent. “Each season over 6000 players take to the rugby field, along with a swag of coaches, administrators and volunteers working hard off the field, to make the grassroots competitions a success on the field.”

“We see rugby as an essential part of Taranaki’s culture. Community rugby gives players of all ages and gender access to rugby opportunities regardless of their social economic background. Many of our programmes are targeted at youth and their physical and mental wellness that ultimately builds strong communities.”

“It is always a challenge having enough resources to fully fund the community side of rugby locally in Taranaki," Laurence said.

A grant of $150,000 from TSB Community Trust meant Taranaki Rugby could continue to offer their full programme in the 2020 season. “Getting the grant meant we have been able to have a large, varied programme, including Taranaki Pasifika, Taranaki Māori, Taranaki U16, a Girls Under 15 team tournament and the Baker Tilly Ross Brown Tournament. We deliver rugby across every age group, from junior boys and girls’ teams right up to the adults. We were also able to purchase essential equipment, like cones, rugby balls and scrum machines.”

“Thousands have been affected by the grant from Urenui in the north to Patea in the south and everywhere else between. That’s including the players, coaches, volunteers, and parents. Without the funding, we wouldn’t have been able to run such a full programme,” Laurence said.