This week Oamaru Mail sports reporter James Ford speaks with Excelsior Club's Allister Murdoch.
How long have you been involved with the Excelsior Club for and what's your fondest memory of being part of the club?
Since 1997. There have been too many memories to try and isolate just one, although the Lip Sync Competition Nights have left some pretty lasting memories as did the sheep trying to escape from the top of the ramp at the speed shears competition. Every year is different as it brings different people to the club and every year there is something that stands out and helps to create memories.
How has your club changed over the years?
The club has evolved over the years from being just a rugby club to the multi-sports club we are today. We have seen all sports go through ups and downs, the challenge for us all is to get kids into sports regardless of what sport they choose to play.
What's special about your club?
The people are what make it special. You can have the best facilities, but without personalities you have nothing. Also, we have an executive committee that oversees the running of the club so that each sporting section can focus on their game instead of toilet paper supplies.
What do you think your club offers the local community?
We offer a place where the whole family can come and choose a sport of their liking and play it! Petanque for Mum, rugby for Dad and Sister, cricket for Brother and netball for Grandma!!!
With the rugby club entering its 125th year how will this milestone be celebrated?
We are planning our anniversary to be held at Queen's Birthday weekend 2013. Registrations on Friday night, rugby on Saturday with a dinner and dance to follow, then a get-together on Sunday. And, of course, it would be great if our Premier Team could pick up the Citizen's Shield.
Why do you think your club has stood the test of time?
We have some very loyal members. We also try to promote our club as a family club so that children grow up with fond memories of Blues then come back in later years to give something back.
How high is the level of young talent being produced at the Excelsior Rugby and Associated Sports Club?
By having access to very good coaches, across the board each section has stand-out members who are constantly striving to reach the pinnacle of their chosen sport.
What are the club's plans for the future to ensure its progression?
As a club you need to recognise that you have to change to meet today's demands. We have joined the Waitaki Sports Partnership Project Group and hope that by doing so we can get better utilisation of our building and build up member numbers.