[Welcome to ‘I Love This Club’, a series of guest posts on in-the-back-of-the.net exploring what makes grassroots New Zealand football people tick, through sharing their stories about why they love their clubs. If you would like to contribute to this series by writing about your special club, please e-mail me via casagiordani at orcon dot net dot nz. Previous episodes in the series can be found here.]
By Chris Canton
So what does Stop Out stand for?
It’s a common question we get asked!
Our roots are firmly entrenched in the Hutt Valley; the Waiwhetu, Moera and Randwick areas. Formed in 1919, history shows in the early days the club’s focus was on keeping troubled youth (Stop Out’s) off the street by using sport and recreation to keep them active and focused. Set up by Reverend Bob Feilden-Taylor as part of the Wellington City Mission our first clubrooms were in Taranaki Street, Central Wellington.
In 1922 Moera Stop Out became Stop Out and with a move to Hutt Park raceway in 1931 by our spiritual founder Dick Dunn, the rest as they say, is history!
Over our nearly 100 years the Stop Out club has been involved in a variety of sports, including Boxing, Athletics, Cricket and Softball as well as the Dramatic Arts.
Today Football is the heart and soul of our club. Stop Out is family focused and inclusive across all grades, We strive for success by developing our players into being better footballers no matter what level they are. An unusual concept for many to comprehend as only the elite payers get catered for at many clubs!
We are well represented in all grades from Capital Premier League through to Masters Leagues for Men as well as U17 for our youth.
In 2008 we made a strategic push into Women’s football that has seen the club grow to four teams and our Premier women team are also the 2013 Premier League Champions.
Stop Out has seen strong player growth in the last few years and is now one of the largest Senior clubs in the Capital Football region.
We are also strongly represented in all Junior leagues and run Nursery grades for our budding future stars before they move into Junior and then Senior football.
That focus has seen targetted investment into our club coaches and managers. Balanced with the investment in people is our investment in resources. Our Hutt Park playing fields with in-ground irrigation, our changing facilities and clubrooms are as good as anywhere in the wider Wellington region and the envy of many other clubs.
Stop Out was one of the original member clubs of the National League through the 70s and 80’s and players such as Ian Ormond, Ken Dugdale, Sam Malcolmson and Derek Gibson-Smith played in those times. And later a young teenager Wynton Rufer played for the club.
In the mid 80s Stop Out returned to our spiritual home of Hutt Park, from days based at Te Whiti Park in The National League, with the construction of our current clubrooms.
And today Stop Out with a strong and effective Executive Committee is driven to a return to the Central League for both our Women’s and Men’s teams. 2013 Premier League Champions in both our Men and Women we are committed to getting both 1st teams back to the top where we belong!
Stop Out also run the largest youth tournament in the region for 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th graders where over 80 teams compete in the Annual Wynton Rufer tournament. 20 years and still going strong.
Our pre-season Women’s Tournament is in its 5th year and fills a gap with the Women’s game developing so rapidly. And there’s a National Youth Tournament in the pipeline!
So what is success and what do we stand for?
Yes sport and football is about winning and having representation in the top leagues. That’s a given.
But for us as a club it’s just as important to look after that ‘group of Stop Out’s’ that need a place to call home, and along the way play a bit of football.
[To play for, get involved with, or find out more about Stop Out, e-mail club_captain at stopout dot org dot nz, phone Brent Hamlin on 027 500 5857, visit www.stopout.org.nz, or follow them via www.twitter.com/Redgoldblood!]
Categories: I Love This Club
A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.