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"The Season" (1) -"Locking The Coffee Vendor Inside The Grounds"

Follow the All Stripes U11 Rugby season journey through the coach's eyes, as we share the highs, lows, and everything in between.


Picture this: I'm standing in line at the supermarket after the match when my phone buzzes.

"Hey, do you have the key to the gate? The Coffee vendor can’t get out."

“Oh s**t, it’s in my trackpants…. at home. I’ll be 20 minutes.”


How did I end up locking the coffee vendor inside the grounds? Well, it was a rookie mistake. You see, I was fair frazzled that Saturday and simply forgot to return the key to its hook. The mighty All Stripes had their first home game, and I was blindsided by the avalanche of extra admin that comes with hosting matches.


In all my years coaching, I've never had a manager for kids' sports. Life always seemed pretty straightforward – as long as everyone knows when and where they need to be, right? But this week, the 'non-coaching' responsibilities piled up before I even set foot on the field.


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From stocking up on food for three after-match gatherings to printing out team lists and wrestling with a scoring app that I downloaded the morning of, the to-do list seemed endless. And that was just the beginning.


Upon arrival, it was a whirlwind of setting up fields (we were the first match), roping off areas to keep parents at bay, and then making sure the coffee cart could get through locked gate (I was halfway through planting corner flags when it arrived – they key never left my trackpants again!).



It's moments like these that make you appreciate the importance of having a supportive team around you. Parental assistance can be a game-changer. Without it, I found myself stretched thin, struggling to juggle it all. I barely had time to give the boys a proper warm-up, and before we knew it, we were down seven-nil within the first 30 seconds of the match.


Oh and I also reffed the game(which I enjoyed), hence the key-holding trackies going into the bag? And thus, I almost forgot about starting the BBQ for the after-match. Thankfully, a couple of helpful parents stepped in, firing it up ten minutes before full time to ensure the sausages were sizzling come post-match celebrations.


As for the scoring app? Well, let's just say multitasking wasn't my forte while reffing. Fortunately, the opposition team manager took charge and submitted the scores. Although evidently we both have to submit it. We even received a gentle reprimand from the competition committee via email. Can't wait for our first away game next week.


Despite the chaos, the game itself was a spectacle. An absolute nail-biter that ended in a draw. The highlight? A perfectly executed cross-field kick pass to our lightning-fast winger, who sprinted the length of the field with a grin from ear to ear, planting the ball under the posts amidst uproarious cheers from the team. Moments like these remind me why we coach.


This Blog is inspired by real team experiences and events. Identities are kept anonymous and some artistic liberties are taken for storytelling purposes.

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