Our Past – Where have we Come From?
The Helensvale Hornets Junior Rugby League Club was first established in 1991 with teams registered for U7, U8, U9, U10, U11 and U12’s.
Initially the Club was run and backed by the Helensvale Baptist Church. In 1993, the Church handed over the administration of the Club to the Club’s own Committee. Up until the 1996 Season, the Helensvale Rugby Union Grounds had been the home ground for the Club. In 1995, grounds were nominated at Monterey Keys for the Club and fields. During 1996 the Club House was erected and area the size of five playing fields was prepared.
The beginning of the 1997 season saw the Club set up its own permanent home on these grounds. This has given us the room to bring our Juniors through the ranks to Senior Teams for the future. It was also envisaged that our Club House would be able to offer facilities to the Community for other uses such as Bingo or Community-run functions.
The Community area that the Club serviced extended from Helensvale, Gaven, Studio Village, Monterey Keys, Hope Island and Oyster Cove through to Oxenford, Coomera, Pimpama and Ormeau. This area had approximately five High Schools and nine Primary Schools. The estimated population was around 30,000. With projected growth in this corridor, our Club and facility could only increase in size in the coming seasons. Research at the time revealed that this growth would extend to Brisbane and eventually Brisbane and the Gold Coast will be a combined city. Thus, the potential for our Club was considered enormous.
Since 1995 the Club has appointed a Club Captain from the players competing at International Rule level (U13-17). The Captain is chosen to act as a ‘Role Model’ for the younger Players to look up to. They are also invited to attend all the Committee Meetings to learn about the administration of the Club. This input from one of the Club Players, has proved invaluable to the Committee in some of its decision-making.
In addition to the founders and parents of past and present players, much of the Club’s initial success is largely due to Sponsorship from various businesses in the local area. In 2003, to mark the Club’s success, the old logo was replaced with the new logo “The Mighty Hornet”.
Due to our growth, the diligence of past committees and GCCC support, we opened up a third international playing field in 2003 and installed a scoreboard. In 2004, we installed a 100 seat stand and player’s huts. In 2005, the front verandah was extended and an equipment shed installed. In 2006 an official’s tower was erected and spectator railing around field 1 and field 2 was installed.
By 2007, the strength of the Club will have increased to include teams in ALL junior age groups from U7 right through to the U17 for the first time. Plus our Seniors will field again 3 Teams in the Gold Coast Rugby League and an Over 35 Masters Team.
Since 2007 under the guidance of our current Club President Wayne Court,we have grown from 13 teams to a massive 43 junior teams and has become one of the premier clubs on the Gold Coast.
Our Future – Where are we going?
In recent years, growth within the Hornets Club has extended in Coaching, Refereeing and Administration fields. Our current Coaching Director Jason Burnham is an ex NRL player and has had many years of experience in playing and coaching Rugby League in at high levels, coaching Souths Logan in the QLD Cup. All other coaches are either ARL Level 1 or 2 coaches. With this expertise behind them they are able to develop their players’ skills and knowledge of the game of Rugby League. All Coaches are encouraged to attend Coaching Clinics and Training Seminars held by the Gold Coast District Junior Rugby League and by our own experienced coaches at the club.
From time to time Team Managers are involved in in-house seminars and all club members are always encouraged to attend ARL accredited First Aid training. When our players reach the age of 14 they are encouraged to become Junior Referees for mini & mod games and from 16, they can gain full ARL coaching accreditation.
Each year the Club appoints a Club Captain from the players competing at International Rule level (U13-17). The Captain is chosen to act as a ‘Role Model’ for the younger Players to look up to. They are also invited to attend all the Committee Meetings to learn about the administration of the Club. This input from one of the Club’s Key Players, has proved invaluable to the Committee in some of its decision-making. Our long-term plans are to develop our current Junior Members in all roles, to ensure the future and the further development of the Club in the field of Junior Rugby League.
Helensvale Hornets is more recently becoming the ‘home of Primary School football,’ holding the U11’s Regional Carnival and the Metropolitan Finals for the last 5 years. In 2005 & 2006, it also hosted the U12 SQLD competition. In the future this association with the Gold Coast Primary School’s Association will bring more events though the Club increasing our profile with the Queensland Rugby League community. In 2006, along with our Seniors, we also hosted an international Masters competition between QLD, NSW, Sth NZ and Nth NZ.
Our main aim is to continue to create a family-oriented environment within the Club by promoting “mateship” between players and parents. Because of the isolation of the area in regard to the Gold Coast, the Club will provide a focal point for the youth of the community and its surrounding areas. It is intended to endeavour to promote teamwork and leadership to the junior members to help prepare them for adulthood. With the help of the parents and their involvement in the management of the Club, this objective should be achievable.
Undoubtedly, the Helensvale Hornets will continue to grow with its traditional and continued support of players and parents, along with sponsorship from local businesses within our close-knit community. One of our major goals is for lighting on our number 2 playing field. Not only will this enable us to host more night games, it has become essential for training nights as we continue to increase numbers of teams each year.
Without the backing of a “leagues club” with “pokies” we believe that our Club has done remarkably well in not only catering for the youth of our neighbourhood, but in fostering adult input into the future of the Community. This can only lead to a sense of responsibility being injected into the children of today who become the adults of tomorrow.
John was the first Hornets President and one of the founders. He was also the first Life Member. A familiar sight around the grounds even today, John has also not missed an AGM. A hornet to the core is our John.
Wanda was one of the original Hornets and longest serving secretary. Super efficient and full of knowledge, she ruled the Hornets Nest with an iron fist. After her son ceased playing and became a referee, Wanda stayed on as secretary for some years – one of the best any club could hope for. Due to her vast experience, in 2004 Wanda put her vast knowledge and love of the game to good use as Administrator of Gold Coast District Junior Rugby League. She is still seen around the clubhouse.
Muriel was one of the early Hornets committee members and one of the best Treasuers that any club could wish for. Even years after her son was too old to play for the Hornets, Muriel stayed on for some years. She took a couple of years off in 2005-2006 and renominated for Treasurer in 2007 but was not successful – lucky for her perhaps? She is often seen around the ground and at AGMs with husband Tony.
Tony was one of the early Hornets coaches. In 2003, he led the U12 Div 2 team to a premiership and the Presidents Cup. He also served as Coaching Director and Vice President. For many years he was the voice behind the microphone and spent many hours setting up the field and packing up. Even years after his son was too old to play for the Hornets, Tony stayed on for some years. He retired from the club at the end of 2004 but is still seen around the grounds and at AGMs.
Bruce has been the heavy weight around the club for many years. And despite the gravel voice and rugged apperance and beard, he has a heart of gold and would do anything for a Hornet. He has also been a kind caring coach of Under 9s and 10s. He is also known as the Club construction welder as he is responsible for most of the steel work around the clubhouse. He still assists teams with running the water and still cares for “his original boys” who are now well into their teenage years still playing for the Hornets.