Aranui Eagles Rugby League Club

Aranui Eagles Rugby League Club

The Aranui Eagles Rugby League Club provides a welcoming environment for anybody who would like to participate in the sport of Rugby League in Aranui, Christchurch. The club caters for all ages from 3 years to mature adult males.

From the recent 2013 stats the Aranui Community of 3,810 comprised of 23.9% Māori and 16.8% Pasifika, the highest population of Māori and Pasifika in any suburb in Christchurch. Approximately 20% of the community plays league for the club and 93% of the club itself is made up from Māori and Pasifika people.

Aranui is located in one of the worst hit earthquake areas. In 2010 they lost their clubrooms and training and playing fields and in 2011 they lost their changing sheds. Keeping the club going after the earthquakes and rebuilding the club helped to relieve a lot of tension in the families. It gave them all a chance to ensure that they continued on as ‘normally’ as they could.

Most members know people who have passed from suicide. When speaking with some of their senior players and parents about this campaign they were 100% behind it. It is very ‘real’ for some of their whānau with comments such as “we definitely need suicide out there to talk about”, “Some of my mates still feel guilt over what their mate did” and “one of my mates thinks he’s not cutting it as a parent and he’s pretty low”.  

The Aranui Eagles RLC continues to be 100% behind helping the message get out there for their members, their families and in general. The club believes that if all the members could wear words that encapsulate “Suicide Awareness” on track suits it would be a brilliant way of getting the message out and into homes where the conversation can start.  The club’s committee participated in a suicide prevention training prior to the campaign in Aranui starting.

The club had evidence of the success of such a project as it promoted the “It’s Not Ok” message. Initially people joked about it but now people say “It’s not Ok” when people are arguing or children say it when friends are fighting. The club knew it would work and getting a suicide awareness message out in this simple way would members and achieve a lot in the Aranui area.

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