Counties Manukau Rugby will welcome two renowned ladies with plenty of history into key governance roles but it is what they will bring to the table rather than who they are that rugby folk should be excited about.
Renee Maxwell – daughter of former Steelers player and coach Andrew Talaimanu – and Tara Coe – daughter of former player and administrator Jim Coe – have been appointed to roles within the new structure of Counties Manukau Rugby.
Maxwell has joined the CMRFU Board of Directors after a recent vote by club leaders, while Coe joins the Community Rugby Committee – a new group tasked with running club rugby.
“I am extremely excited but also honoured to be voted as the interim Club Board Director by our clubs in the Union until February,” Maxwell said.
“It’s something this year I decided I wanted to do; I want to further my governance career in rugby and this opportunity is definitely one of them.
“But also exciting to be joining the CRC with Tara. It is a special story. To think over 20 years ago we were there cheering our dads on as Dad coached and Jimmy played, to now moving into governance roles - walking in our dad’s footsteps for sure.
“I used to play/baby sit Tara in the stands on game days and we have always been close, we got closer again when our “Uncle Mac” passed away. Counties was a massive part of our lives as young girls, and it still is now. To think we are now stepping into these leadership roles is a great story.”
Coe too is excited to be able to give back to the Union she grew up around.
“As I stand at the threshold of this new chapter, appointed to a key role within the rugby committee, I can't help but feel a profound sense of honour and responsibility,” she said.
“The weight of this privilege is amplified by the legacy that precedes me – my father's storied involvement in the sport, his influential role within the Union, all woven into the fabric of my upbringing on the sideline of the Counties Manukau Steelers rugby field.”
Both women have already fashioned a proven track record as administrators within the club scene and have earned their appointments through their successes rather than who their famous fathers were.
“I myself also want to create my own footsteps as Renee Maxwell and not to always be known as Tali’s daughter,” Maxwell explained.
“Those that are close to me know how much my club Rewa means to me, I give that place my absolute all and though that will continue, this opportunity I have been given means I can step up for our Union, bring fresh ideas to help improve and try to future-proof the game we all love.
“I can’t always have my Manurewa hat on though and I know that I will be there to represent all our clubs. They had faith to vote for me and I need them to know I want to represent them all. I want to be someone they can call about concerns, ideas but also to be listened to. I know myself and the rest of the CRC are not miracle workers, we won’t change the issues, concerns etc we have with club rugby overnight but this new format it is a step in the right direction.”
Coe too, feels the changes are going to be a good thing for the sport.
“Walking into this position, I carry with me the aspirations of providing a conduit for fresh perspectives and progressive changes to true grassroots rugby,” she said.
“I envision this new structure as a platform to innovate, to foster inclusivity, and to shape the future of rugby with the reinvention of stronger pathways from juniors to school aged rugby and school aged rugby to senior rugby and all the transitions in between. There's a hope that through collaborative efforts, we can pave the way for a more robust, and engaging experience for all involved – players, clubs, families and communities alike.
“Dad had to front up to the challenges of playing the game to the best of his ability and work with a team to achieve every win, and occasionally they missed the mark. It’s not going to be any different for me with being part of the Union’s subcommittee. To be able to follow in his footsteps for the betterment of the game we love is an absolute honour.”
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