There are special days in sport that have a far wider impact on a community than just who came first, second and third.

Te Puna Sports Vaughan Kuka Memorial Tens played last weekend has been such an event for more than a decade and on Saturday Arataki Sports Michael Rawiri "Big Mike" Memorial Tens was held for the fourth year.

Rawiri was in his fourth term as the club's president and a life member when he passed away in 2013. If ever one man personified a community, he did and his passing was felt long and hard throughout the wider Arataki area.

A quick glance at the Arataki club management for the 2017 season shows his strong family link remains. His partner of nearly 40 years, Patsy, is club patron and daughters Michelle and Murphyne and son Mickel are on the committee.


"Saturday was not only about my father," Mickel said.

"He was never a person to talk about himself. It was always about other people and the community. I know he would have been watching and seeing how the day unravelled and how much of an impact it made.

"Events like this just bring the whanau and friends and kids around the field and exceptional rugby players into our area to play for a trophy."

Club president Charles Russell was proud of how the tournament had grown over the last four years.

"Year after year this tournament just gets bigger and bigger and bigger and I am sure it will grow another leg next year," he said.

"It is special for the community and it is good to see days like this. I am pretty happy with the result.

"Coming to Arataki is a good option now and we portray a good professional club. I think the officials and adjudicators are happy with what we put on today from an organisational perspective. Lorraine [Bourke] and her admin team have put on a great day.

"It is about the brand, it is about us as a club and I think we are doing our little community proud so it is all good.

"We had Te Puna tens last week, our tournament, Hamilton Old Boys away and an Argentina team visiting on the 4th March and a tri-series down in Gisborne, so our build-up into the season for us to play a good brand of rugby in that first round which is important for us for the Premier division."

Tournament organiser and club committee member Bourke said they wanted to acknowledge other members of the club who passed away in the last 12 months.

"We have named a pool after each person who has passed since the last tournament. It just helps to bring that whole family community focus together," she said.

"We were astounded with the turnout. We had 14 men's teams and three women's which is up on six men's last year. To go from there to now is amazing and we can handle it easily with the resources within the club and level of community support.

"Our goal is to make it the tournament for clubs to play pre-season."