It’s fitting the Bunbury Junior Rugby Union Club adopted the team name of the Barbarians.
The famous Barbarian Football Club was formed over 120 years ago in Britain and is made up of players from many different nations invited to play.
The tradition continues in Bunbury with many of their juniors travelling long distances to train and play every week – and it’s symbolic of the pride and dedication carried in the club.
A number of kids commute more than an hour to train and play, while 13-year-old diehard Josh travelled nearly four hours and stayed for the weekend to take the field over the course of two years before returning to the United Kingdom – unquestionably taking plenty of life-long memories back with him.
“We do see it as the way of families to get to know other people in the community and feel part of the community,” Club president Kim Doyle said.
There’s a very United Nations feel at the Bunbury Barbarians Junior Rugby Union Club with 90 percent of families involved with the club moving from interstate and overseas – including New Zealand, South Africa, England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Italy, France, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Fiji and Tonga – with the mining industry being a major drawcard in the region.
It’s obvious the Barbarians are central to the Greater Bunbury Region and the community.
“We say we’re really committed to being inclusive and family-friendly focused, and having a healthy culture,” Doyle said.
“There are so many negative influences in the community that we wanted to make sure the kids had those positive influences (playing rugby).
“We have a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds. There is always the potential that people are bringing different approaches and we don’t want the drinking culture within our junior club.”
The Barbarians were the first club in the Bunbury region to team up with Good Sports in 2013, and the strategic move has worked in their favour.
“(Joining Good Sports) wasn’t because we had major issues with alcohol in the junior club but to try to safeguard the culture we were creating,” Doyle said.
“Obviously when a club is fully run by volunteers your committee’s focus can change. We wanted to cement the importance of adults leading by example and (for) whoever was running the club to know that was the culture and it was cemented into our club culture.”
With 150 juniors playing from Under Sixes to Under 17s, the Barbarians are determined to promote their work with the Good Sports program by wearing the logo on their jersey next season.
“(Good Sports) is an initiative with a preventive focus which is one of the reasons we came on board so quickly,” Doyle said. “It really was a means to safeguard what is important to our club.”
“We have found is that Good Sports does offer support in a very non-judgemental and practical way.
“All of the project officers have an understanding of grassroots football clubs, that we’re all volunteers and that time is precious.
“We’re also a regional club but the distance has never been an issue for Good Sports. We’ve had lots of face-to-face contact which for us as a regional club is huge.”
With clubs as enthusiastic and dedicated to sharing their love of sport as the Bunbury Barbarians Junior Rugby Union Club, there is little surprise that the Good Sports program is helping to continue to deliver results on and off the field.