Makos go back to their roots for fun day
Tasman Makos stars James Lowe and Mitchell Scott have fond memories of their first games of rugby.
Mitchell was just 4 when he lined up for the Nelson under-7s, a team he played in for the next four years, and James made his debut for Stoke when he was 6 in a team coached by his friend’s mother Tania Penaia-Smith.
‘‘I didn’t know which way to run,’’ James recalled this week. ‘‘I was hopeless but it was good fun and it got me into rugby.’’
It was also a steep learning curve for Mitchell, who said ‘‘I had no idea what I was doing – all I can remember was standing at the front of the lineout with my hands up in the air.’’
Both players have come a long way since they were youngsters running around on frosty Saturday mornings but this Sunday they will be mixing it with the region’s junior players again when they help out at the Makos Family Fun Day at Trafalgar Park.
The Fun Day is a fundraiser for the Tasman Rugby Union’s Junior Advisory Board and both James and Mitchell said they were happy to help out for such a great cause.
‘‘We get asked to do quite a lot of stuff with the kids and I really enjoy it,’’ Mitchell said. ‘‘It’s a lot of fun.’’
James was also looking forward to Sunday, saying: ‘‘The JAB is where it all starts so the Fun Day is a really good idea.’’
One of the highlights of the Fun Day will be a five-kilometre fun run and walk hosted by the players.
Anyone can enter and all children in the run-walk will get a free McDonald’s cheeseburger voucher and be in line to win great spot prizes, including Makos jerseys.
Runners and walkers will also be provided with drinks along the way, with the Tasman Makos acting as water boys.
There will be a chance for children to get autographs and have their photos taken with players.
The Makos will be holding a skills session after the fun run.
Makos marketing manager Les Edwards said there were about 2500 JAB players in Nelson Bays and the funds raised would be used to help pay for their representative player gear.
The Fun Day will be held from 10.30am till 1.30pm, with activities moving under the covered stands if it is raining. Entry is by a gold coin donation.