We have seen throughout the global crisis that is Covid19, that the loss of sport (among many other worrying economic, social and health challenges) has impacted our community is ways that we could not have imagined even as recently as the last footy season.

Despite this, our region has been united in its common purpose to create a new pathway for local rugby players. A call went out to help get the Wildfires back on the park earlier this year and with the support of many local business people (even when their own businesses were increasing impacted by Covid19), enough dollars were raised to get three teams together. Most of the $60,000 raised is needed for player fees, kits, insurances and transport to and from games. Realistically, most clubs require about a quarter of million dollars for such an effort.
We should be very proud of our own.



It is the first time in 22 years that our region has presented a representative team into the Shute Shield. The Shute Shield is a semi-professional rugby union premier grade club competition founded in 1923. The NHRU Wildfires present three teams in 2020 – premier grade, colts and women’s teams.

Not one player is being paid. Not one coach is being paid. There might be just enough strappings to see out most of the 13 round season but all teams wear kits that proudly represent ‘Newcastle’s Own’. The uniform kits are teal and brown but they also include other important symbols that I believe represents our region’s passion for unity.

Sport is the ‘sticky’ part of a community. It is the glue that helps us connect and not just on the park, as a spectator or a sponsor. There is not doubt that it provides our kids with activity and socialisation. It also holds pathways to sporting excellence and representation if that’s their goal. It also facilitates teamwork, friendships, collaboration, business and community support. It unites us for a common purpose.




We have even managed to attract Rugby Royalty, the King an Queen of Australian Rugby, David Campese and Mollie Gray to help support and coach the Mens, Colts and Women's teams