Heartland Wairarapa Football Club Inc

Helping to kick goals for our region

  • Wairarapa-CP-Bob-web

    Bob Francis, helping put Wairarapa on the national football scene.

Wairarapa’s most anticipated new sports club is aiming for the big league, and it is support from the local community and businesses such as Moore Stephens Markhams that is helping them get there.

Heartland Wairarapa Football Club Incorporated was officially launched earlier this year and was formed following the success of Wairarapa United in the 2011 Chatham Cup – an historical and exceptional win against the top teams in the country that will be remembered for years to come, says the new club’s Chairman, Bob Francis.

Following this outstanding achievement, Phil Keinzley, Wairarapa United coach and a client of Moore Stephens Markhams, formed a group to put a business case to New Zealand Football for Heartland to join the national men’s league, says Bob.

“We were unsuccessful in our bid, but instead the club was invited to put a team into the national youth league, which is due to start playing in January 2014.”

The Heartland youth team draws on players from Wairarapa and Hutt Valley and has commenced training after a selection weekend in Napier at the end of October. Nike has come on board as sponsor of the team’s strip (green and white, with red and white as the alternate).

Bob says that although still in its infancy, work is being done now to pave the way for the organisation’s future success, while propelling football in the province to new heights.

“We are hopeful that if we do well in the youth league by proving ourselves successful and building our reputation both on and off the field, we will be in a strong position to push forward and be accepted to compete in the premiership league,” he says.

Bob himself is a relative newcomer to the football scene, however, with over 50 years’ involvement in rugby and as an ex international rugby referee and referee selector, he knows how a good club should operate and has a strong vision for Heartland.

“I’ve had many years’ involvement in Wairarapa rugby but football does not have the same long history and strong infrastructure here so I want to help develop that for Heartland,” he says.

“I know if we help to create a club with a strong administration base we can help to ensure the clubs sustainability further down the track. It’s a big operation to fund an elite team and we have been working hard to fundraise and applying to charitable trusts for funds in order to raise the capital needed to continue moving forward.”

Assisting the club in saving on administration costs, Moore Stephens Markhams Director, Sharon Parker, is volunteering her services as Club Treasurer, and is also a member of the Board.

“I became involved after our client, Phil, mentioned he was keen to develop football, and importantly a Wairarapa based team, to national status,” says Sharon. “I said, if you need a hand, let me know, and he did.”

Sharon has been kept busy assisting with other administration-based tasks involved in setting up an organisation of this nature, such as making the appropriate arrangements with IRD, helping develop the Rules of Society, and assisting with budgeting and other financial aspects at the outset in the proposal to NZ Football.

She’s in agreement with Bob and the rest of the Board that building a strong administration base will be key to the organisation’s long term success and sustainability. “As a firm, we’re keen to do what we can to set Heartland up for the future. Long-term it’s an organisation that will bring together our community and raise the profile of our province at a national level.”

Bob says that once NZ Football can see the Club has a professional set up and a viable future the focus can be shifted to the ultimate goal. “We all look forward to the day the national men’s premiership cup takes its place in the Heartland trophy cabinet,” he says.

Published Summer 2013.

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