The Goats, Curtin’s Rugby Union Club, have had enough with the limited support they receive from Curtin, and say it’s only got worse this season.
Club President Phil Whittington says that since the new Exchange Precinct finished construction, the university has neglected the sporting teams on campus.
“We share the fields, club room, and the four small change rooms with soccer, hockey, gridiron and ultimate frisbee teams,” he says.
Phil believes the club rooms are far too small for the number of people who need to use them on game days with multiple home and away teams across several sports.
“The facilities are not great. Other rugby clubs have new facilities with kitchens, change rooms and nice seating areas overlooking the pitch, and yet, we’ve had no hot water for years. They could do so much more with the facilities on these grounds.”
Due to how difficult it has become to deal with the university, Phil says the club may have to look at finding new grounds.
“We can apply once a year for the grant scheme, which in the past we received around $5000, but I applied this year and have heard nothing so far. It’s like dealing with mine sites sometimes, that’s how hard it is to get things approved,” he says.
“We wanted some new jerseys with indigenous design on it for the indigenous round this season, which would have been around $900 for 23 shirts, but they didn’t want a bar of it.”
Phil, who has been with the club for ten years and 113 games, believes having better facilities would help retain players, and perhaps help with getting some junior teams together at the club.
“We had juniors here for two years, under 8s and under 9s and even at that young age they were getting asked to go to other clubs,” he says.
Tomo Cross has been with the Goats for six seasons and became the Club Captain this year. Mainly a social role, Tomo oversees organising social events, keeping morale up, and checking in on the members to make sure everything is okay.
Tomo, who is only twenty-five, agrees with Phil that they need younger players to join the club.
“We’ll be the older guys in a few years. So, I think finding that new young injection of players would be a brilliant thing for the club,” he says.
During the pandemic all sporting clubs took a massive hit due to the restrictions, but this year Tomo has recognised many faces back at the club that he hasn’t seen since before Covid.
He says,“it’s good to see that people are stepping back out and getting into a sporting environment.”
Tomo says after leaving the premier grade, the club did take a hit as some players left for other teams to remain in the high level of competition but that they retained a lot of core players who really drive the social part of the club.
“We’ve now got our liquor licence and we can have events here which are generally cheaper than going out since we aren’t charging as much as a pub would for a beer,” he says.
After a lot of back and forth with the university, the club now has a liquor license for the rest of the season which makes extending hours and setting up events much easier, which should bring more people down.
“Supporting the club has given so much to me, so giving back is all I want to do and just help out wherever I can,” he says.
“The club means everything to me; I’ve made so many great mates. I’ve played in Bali, all over WA and the Northern Territory and just everyone you meet loves the sport. It’s an infectious energy that I’ve never experienced in other sporting clubs.”