Melton Rugby Club have claimed one of the highest honours in Victorian sport, winning the 2023 Good Sports State Club of the Year.
The annual award is designed to shine a spotlight on Victoria's most passionate clubs and volunteers and is open to clubs from multiple codes across the state.
The Melton Warriors were recognised as standouts in a stellar field, as judges acknowledged the club's efforts in promoting a positive change and building a healthier, more family-friendly club environment.
A central figure in Melton's rise has been Club Secretary Priscilla Maiava. We chatted with Priscilla to learn more about her recent success.
Rugby Victoria (RV): Congratulations on the honour! How did you find out the good news?
Priscilla Maiava (PM): We found out about the award via email. When they called for nominations I did not hesitate to nominate Melton RUFC as I knew the hard work of the volunteers that goes into making the club a safe place where our children and community can thrive.
RV: What was the reaction from the community when the honour was announced?
PM: I don’t think people expected this from little old Melton Warriors!
We are overwhelmed with joy to say the least - a local rugby union club from the western suburbs of Melbourne recognised for the selfless work they do for the club and the community.
RV: The ceremony must have been an emotional occasion.
PM: The official ceremony was held at the Parliament House in Canberra last week and we had Chris Lewis (a life member & one of the founders of the club) and Damian Paranihi join the event via zoom.
RV: What have been the most important lessons you've learnt about building a successful and welcoming club?
PM: For us, there has been three key pillars.
Firstly, effective leadership that provides support and direction to all members of the club.
This is backed up by effective communication.
Last but not least, we follow the mantra that there's no I in TEAM!
RV: Can you give us some insight into some initiatives you and the committee have championed that you are most proud of?
PM: We started running offseason touch to keep our children engaged.
It’s important to us that the kids stay active and not lose their momentum.
The senior team are active role models for our junior players - it keeps them connected.
RV: What's your vision for the Club? Where would you like to see the club in 5 years from now?
PM: Our vision as a club is to develop players to their fullest potential in a family friendly environment whilst teaching them values for life and encouraging discipline, teamwork & respect on and off the field.
For me personally - it would be good for The Warriors to have a permanent home before or within 5 years time.
Otherwise, I hope to see more participants playing rugby union so we can keep our code growing.