Juniors at the heart of club's 20-year history
FROM their beginning as a club that brought two opposing clubs together, the Across the Waves AFL Club has developed a strong culture of success and junior development.
The club officially started playing in 1997 following discussions that started in 1996 between Norths Football Club and ATW Magpies (formerly South Bundaberg Magpies).
This joining of the clubs was thanks to the foresight of Mick Stuchbury and Tom Bradbury from Souths and Norm Quarrell and Ian Stitt from the Norths Club.
Club member Colin Patterson said strong administration and volunteer base had meant the club was given the opportunity to grow.
"This goes from all facets of the club from junior coaching to senior coaching,” he said.
"The facilities of the Across the Waves Sports Club and the strong club culture has meant we have been able to attract many people to our club.
"The club doesn't stand still and is always looking for ways to improve both on and off the field.
"We are proud to have a very loyal and passionate supporter base and many lifelong friendships have been forged at the club.”
This strength has seen the club have considerable triumphs over the years, boasting 11 senior premierships since 1997 - about one every two years - and numerous reserve and junior grade premierships.
The local competition gives people an opportunity to get involved in a sport that is not seen as a traditional Queensland or Bundaberg sport.
There continues to be many people in the region who have an interest in AFL and the competition gives them a chance to be involved at a local level.
Other triumphs for the club include construction of a new clubhouse and change rooms, fully automated irrigation system, night game quality lighting and extensive upgrades to all of these facilities over the years.
This has been helped in part because the club has also had numerous fantastic sponsors over the years, and current major sponsors Elgas and Bundaberg Radiology have now been on board for nine years.
Asked how the Across the Waves Sports Club has also been integral in the continuing success of the club, member Dean Pettis said the sports club had given them a sound base to structure the AFL club around.
"Ongoing financial support and assistance with things such as grants for upgrades has been invaluable and without their support at times the club would have really struggled,” he said.
"The ongoing support from the Across the Waves Sports Club has meant that the club has been able to have sustained success on and off the field.
"The Sports Club also provides assistance and support by allowing raffles to be held at the club to raise valuable funds for future projects and junior development.”
As they celebrate their 20th anniversary, the Across the Waves AFL Club are very focused on a strong future that includes continued growth and encouragement of junior involvement in sport.
"The future success of senior teams is vital to this as it gives kids something to aim for and hopefully keeps them involved in sport as they become adults,” Colin said.
"The continued support and assistance of the Across the Waves Sports Club means that the club is confident of a long and successful future.”