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Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Pāpāmoa Bulldogs rugby league club honoring Tere Livingstone at festival

By Vaseline May31,2024
Pāpāmoa Bulldogs rugby league club honoring Tere Livingstone at festival

Pāpāmoa Bulldogs club captain and life member Johnny Kelly, left, with club president and player Anthone Sims and photo of teammate Tere Livingstone, who passed away last year. Photo / John Borren

A year after losing teammate Tere Livingstone – better known as Ted – the Pāpāmoa Bulldogs are hosting a rugby league festival to share the game they love and raise awareness of concussion.

This Saturday, Gordon Spratt Reserve will be a sporting hub, with the club hosting three senior rugby league matches. The match balls and a karakia will be presented by Livingstone’s whānau at 12.50pm, before the 1pm kick-off.

“We want to celebrate his (Livingstone’s) legacy and also bring sport to this community,” said Pāpāmoa Bulldogs club president and rugby league player Anthone Sims.

A tough year

On June 10 last year, Livingstone was seriously injured while playing for Pāpāmoa Bulldogs in a shield rugby competition at Tauranga’s Mitchell Park.

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The 32-year-old died five days later at Waikato Hospital, with scans revealing serious brain injuries.

“Last year was tough… we lost a few players because they couldn’t continue and our season was more focused on mental health,” Sims said.

The team is back at full strength for 2024.

“This year we are there again and we do almost everything, both on and off the field.

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“We just have to keep going.”

Support and connection

Sims said one of his main hopes for the festival was to promote rugby league as a community sport.

“It’s not always a bad sport. There are also always plenty of manaaki/support and whakawhānautanga/building connections included.

“We’re trying to get more people to come and watch and support the game in general.”

Pāpāmoa Bulldogs club captain Johnny Kelly, left, and club president Anthone Sims hold a photo of teammate Tere Livingstone, who died last year.  Photo / John Borren
Pāpāmoa Bulldogs club captain Johnny Kelly, left, and club president Anthone Sims hold a photo of teammate Tere Livingstone, who died last year. Photo / John Borren

On Saturday at 1pm Pāpāmoa Bulldogs play Forestland Falcons, and cousin club The Tauranga Whalers play Tauhara at Maunga.

Mangakino Hawks and Forestland Falcons will then battle it out in the top division at 2:30 p.m.

“The New Zealand Rugby League will also be there to facilitate the day, so it should be a good opportunity for all people to get involved.”

Concussion awareness

The event will also raise awareness about concussions, Sims said.

He believed the best way to reduce concussions was to give players body awareness on the field.

“The main problem is trying to learn the right technique, but sometimes it just happens when there’s a lot of close contact or friendly fire.”

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Sims said Livingstone’s death was “definitely a wake-up call” in the rugby league community.

Tere Livingston was seriously injured last year while playing for Pāpāmoa Bulldogs.  He is pictured with his partner Chloe and their son Nīkora.  Photo / supplied
Tere Livingston was seriously injured last year while playing for Pāpāmoa Bulldogs. He is pictured with his partner Chloe and their son Nīkora. Photo / supplied

“Every game since Ted has been videotaped because it gives certainty about any issues that may arise, so there is video evidence behind everything.

“There has been a shift in knowledge, because you also make the players aware, and not just the managers. Clubs are receiving a booklet which is now being distributed so that more people know what the signs of a concussion are and how to treat them. That said, we also have more first aid on the sidelines.”

Fundraising

The festival will also feature food stalls, fundraising, raffles and clothing to support Livingstone’s family.

“We are fortunate that Ted’s family supports us and is also happy to be part of the weekend. We also have some great volunteers in the club who help with the day.”

Pāpāmoa Rugby Club and Pāpāmoa Football will also play games.

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“The Gordon Spratt Reserve as a whole will be buzzing with sport… it will be great to see,” Sims said.

“I also keep in touch with the rugby and football chairmen to ensure we have a smooth day as a community.”

Details

  • What: Pāpāmoa Bulldogs rugby league festival
  • When: Saturday June 8 from 12.50 pm
  • Where: Gordon Spratt Reserve, Pāpāmoa
  • Fields: Three and four – the back fields towards the college.

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