Eltham Turns 50: A Club Built on the Spirit of Rugby

For all of those who had the pleasure to roll in the Bridge St mud, many will have come away with lifelong memories.

Now more than ever rugby clubs are proving to be an essential part of people’s lives.

Eltham Rugby Club has been playing its part for half century as they celebrate their 50th Anniversary in 2020.

Success on and off the field has helped Eltham to cement their place in Victorian rugby.A first Premiership came in 1980 with the seniors tasting success. A feat that has been repeated several times over the years with the most recent including sensational back to back titles in 2018 and 2019. Winning is only part of the culture as they have been able to create a club with volunteers at its core to generate a genuine community. Despite the challenges being posed with the delay of the season spirits remain high as we hear from the people who have helped make the club what it is today.

The President

As with many, Tim Adams, owes his connection to his rugby club to his child. When his youngest, Sean was converted by a NZ classmate to give rugby a go in 2004, Tim admits to being quite unaware of a rugby club just five minutes from home. Ultimately, he has risen from tackle bag holder to club President and feels Eltham can be summed up in one word, ‘community.’ Watching from the sidelines the standout moment for Tim was the remarkable sudden death semi-final win over Cerberus by the Premiership Reserves in 2017, followed closely by the 2018 Grand Final win over Kiwi Hawthorn.

The Captain

Daniel Hall has seen plenty happen in the 15 years that he has been at Eltham, with 10 of those as Captain. The pride he has in his club is evident, but he is not a man to dwell on the past. When asked about to reflect on his time with the club and what was his most memorable moment has been, he chose to bask in the glory of 2019.

A sensational year for the club and himself as they beat Brimbank in the Grand Final to record back to back Premierships whilst Daniel took all individual plaudits on offer, winning Best on Ground in final, Rugby Victoria Premiership Player of the Year and Eltham’s Most Valuable Player. For Daniel though the success on field comes behind the joy he gets from the family and mateship fostered over his time at Eltham.

The Junior

Having spent 7 of the 11 years of his life as a part of Eltham Rugby Club, Ben Hurdle, is certainly someone who knows the club inside and out. He epitomises the often talked about rugby club spirit, spending his time not just with his team in the juniors, but helping out younger teams, assisting with the set up the fields and running the kicking tee for the seniors. All of which helped create his most memorable moment off the field as he won the 2019 Eltham Rugby Junior Club Award.

On field is no slouch either, as he remembers putting in a big tackling shift against Footscray to help his side come away with the win. Reflecting the current Premiership Captains thoughts, Ben relishes the opportunities Eltham gives him to make new friends and furthermore sees it as a family club. After half a century of challenging themselves on the field, Eltham Rugby Club along with all the Victorian rugby community are facing down the current threat. Undoubtedly it is something that they will come out of stronger as they look to play later in the year.

If you are interested in joining Eltham Rugby Club please visit their Facebook page here

Written by Chris Duffy