News & Updates

20 September 2023 • Community

Matamata AC celebrates glorious unbeaten century

“Have a go” is at the heart of the club philosophy of the Matamata Athletic Club. Credit: Supplied Image

Matamata Athletic Club is set to toast its 100th anniversary with a special function for past committee, members, life members and patrons on Saturday 7 October.

The Waikato-based children’s club based at the Matamata Domain has reached the milestone achievement thanks to a strong “have a go” attitude focused on fun and enjoyment and can look back with immense pride that a small, regional club has achieved the feat.

Formed in 1923 Matamata Athletic Club enjoyed a “golden period” in the 1960s and 70s and has developed into a thriving children’s club – which in 2022-23 boasted more than 200 members aged two to 20.   

With a home base that has two shot put/discus concrete circles, two long jump pits and a four-lane 400m track the club remains at the heart of the local community with Club President Robyn McRae-Aoake – who has served as parent helper, age group manager, club secretary and now club president – relishing the thought of celebrating a very special birthday.

“It is very exciting,” she says. “The club has reached a huge milestone and I have been very lucky to be part of it, especially as the Club President. I have either met or been in contact with so many wonderful people who have been previous members, committee members etc who have so much knowledge and great stories of the past. Although it has been a very busy time organising the 100th Year celebration, it has definitely been worth it.

Robyn also offers a clear explanation as to the philosophy of a club which has stood it in good stead over the decades.

“We are a ‘grassroots’ club, and being based in a small town you can’t help but know each other and help each other. We struggle, like every other club, for volunteers, finding sponsorship and funding to keep the club running but every season we get through with a few laughs and of course the occasional “issue” but it’s a club with a lot of heart and soul.

“Our core philosophy first and foremost is for everyone at the club to “have a go”, enjoy what you do and encourage each other. This includes, parents, whānau and all our volunteers that help keep the club running.”

Former club members include former national 1500m and 3000m champion and 1988 Olympian Christine Pfitzinger and Richard Prevett, the 1971 New Zealand 400m hurdles champion amongst others.

Matamata Athletic Club is organising a special function at the Matamata Piako Civic Centre between 2-5pm on Saturday 7 October and the celebrations will also include a ‘Have a Go’ night at the club on Tuesday 10 October which will include a free Business House Competition.

To find out more go here