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BACK TO THE FUTURE

5 July 2021
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Sid Going’s flag is one of 24 that adorns Semenoff Stadium as a nod to the union’s centurions. Photo: Courtesy of Northland Rugby Union.

Campbell Burnes looks back at the delayed centennial celebrations for Northland and discovers the future looks bright in this proactive union (pages 48-50).

There’s a lot happening in Northland rugby at the moment.
The Taniwha and Kauri are gearing up for their provincial campaigns, the union staff and high performance unit are about to move into a state of the art facility, there is a Women’s Rugby World Cup coming to town next year and the future looks promising on and off the field, notwithstanding these straitened times for most provincial unions after the Covid-19 hit from 2020.
Who better to shout the news from the rafters than Northland chief executive Cameron Bell? He oversees a steady steam of information out of the north, including his regular State of the Union missive, which puts some larger unions to shame.
The first point of business is last month’s centennial celebrations, delayed by a year due to the pandemic. It was a time of stories and memories, and honouring the legacy of the far-flung Northland rugby community. Yet while it was a time to look back with pride, the union is not about to wallow in nostalgia and stay rooted to the past. Bell and his team are not just sitting on their hands waiting for the Silver Lake money, should it come to pass, to just drop into their laps. They are being proactive, no longer content just to helplessly watch their brightest young talent being picked off by other unions while they plead poverty.

Continue this story in our July issue...

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