Pirates Rugby club use bye weekend to chip in for drought

Rugby relief: Ryan Baker, Andy Wynne, Leanne Maslin and Doug Biffin are leading the Pirates charge against the drought this Saturday. Photo: Gareth Gardner
Rugby relief: Ryan Baker, Andy Wynne, Leanne Maslin and Doug Biffin are leading the Pirates charge against the drought this Saturday. Photo: Gareth Gardner

The Pirates Rugby Club are making full use of their bye on Saturday, scrumming down and chipping in for local farmers any way they can.

In conjunction with the R U Aware We Care campaign at least 30 players, supporters and family members will be splitting up into groups of three with each group heading to two local farms for two hours each.

Organiser Doug Biffin said it was a simple way to show support and give back to farmers, many of who have shown great support for country rugby over the years.

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“A lot of the players live in town so they can’t deliver feed or drive trucks, but they are able bodies and keen to help,” he said.

“A lot of farmers are out feeding six or seven days a week, so there are plenty of other jobs or things that are getting overlooked at the moment that we might be able to help out with.

“The objective is to break down the sense of isolation and assist where possible from feeding livestock, collecting firewood, hanging a load of washing, simply delivering a hamper, or just having a coffee and talking rugby.”

Recently back rower Conrad Starr launched a raid on Carlo’s IGA in an R U Aware We Care campaign, while last week supporters were asked to bring donations to the game.

“The objective is to break down the isolation and assist where possible - feeding livestock, collecting firewood, hanging washing, delivering a hamper, or just having a coffee and talking rugby.”

Doug Biffin

All told the club collected over seven trolley loads, which is being divided and packed into hampers to be delivered to the farms along with the labour.

“There has been a few people annoyed that the government is not doing more, so we just thought there has got to be a few things we can do,” Mr Biffin said.

“We mightn’t be able to physically achieve a lot in one day, it is more a showing of good faith, and letting farmers know that we are thinking about them.”

“It is also good for the club culture as well – A lot of the young players don’t have the disposable income to donate, so this is a great way for them to give back, and do somthing they can be proud of.” 

While volunteers haven’t been hard to come by, there are many proud farming families that don’t like putting their hand up for help.

“We have got a few lined up but we really just want to get the word out and get people to nominate a neighbour or a friend that may need a hand,” Mr Biffin said.

Anyone interested in volunteering, or having the Pirates come to their place or a friends place should contact the club on Facebook, or send an email to thepiratescare@gmail.com