In the heart of the Halswell-Wigram community, there’s a group of men that go beyond the conventional boundaries of a traditional rugby team, fostering a sense of family that support one another, the wider community and themselves.
Without a club or home, the inception of the Halswell-Wigram Battlers began in 2017, true to their name reflective of the universal challenges we all go through in life.
They’re committed to cultivating a community where members strive to evolve into better men, represented by an array of individuals spanning various ages, backgrounds, and life situations. Exemplified through initiatives such as club ladies' day, weekly barbecues for players and supporters, active support for the club's junior teams, and impactful fundraisers championing causes like mental health and breast cancer awareness.
The Battlers, were recently named ‘Community Team of the Year’ at the Canterbury Rugby awards train out of the Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub on the Athletics infield, which they credit as fundamental to their successes on and off the pitch.
As Doug Waugh, the team's manager, points out, "the facilities at Ngā Puna Wai are amazing, and dealing with Katrina from Sport Canterbury, everything's just easy."
“Having the lighting set-up and the facilities to train every week has played a crucial role in our training development, becoming our hub for building relationships.”
With a diverse age range of players, spanning from 23 to 50, the Battlers exemplify the inclusive spirit of grassroots rugby.
In the words of Doug Waugh, their manager, "It's about that sense of belonging, coaxing men of all ages out of their situations to step forward and use this game and our family to become better men together."
United by the laces of their rugby boots, they converge not only to bolster each other but also to contribute meaningfully to the community, all the while rediscovering a profound sense of purpose in their own lives.