Sarah Houston lives on a small property outside of Hay. With what started as a conversation with a friend and a passion for rugby became the Hay Whipper Snippers Junior Rugby Club. She is the Junior Club President, a Player, a Manager and an Uber driver to get players to each gala day.
The club was formed in 2017 with an U9s team made up of a couple of older and younger kids. Sarah’s passion and enthusiasm for the game built the little club that gave the kids in the far West of Southern Inland an opportunity to connect in a team sport. In 2019 the enthusiasm reached new highs with 5 teams playing in the Southern Inland Junior Competition. Sarah had a goal to expose and create opportunities for the families who would otherwise not have the chance to play Rugby. This year they have multiple players recognised for representative opportunities.
She has mentioned that living in such rural places makes it hard to play, trainings are held on a Friday afternoon in Hay as a central spot for those kids that live on properties outside of town. Families will travel up to 600km for 80 minutes of football all because they love it.
A highlight for Sarah was in 2019 the Snippers community hosted a senior men’s night game on Saturday then a junior gala day on the Sunday. Volunteers are always light on however the parents of the players and supporters love getting involved to help.
Sarah believes “you can’t be what you can’t see”. 2022 was big step in the right direction having Saturday night Super Rugby games on free to air television. However, there can still be more promotion of these games making it easier for rural players to watch their idols.