Sports Shorts: Nelson Bay Gropers host first round of Summer Rugby 7s at home, Nelson Bay Sharks, Team Tylah in 65k 4 65 Roses Walkathon

KICK OFF: Michael Hotene in action for the Gropers in 2019. Right, Teah Tylah - Simon and Verity Chappell with daughters Milly, Tylah and Summah.
KICK OFF: Michael Hotene in action for the Gropers in 2019. Right, Teah Tylah - Simon and Verity Chappell with daughters Milly, Tylah and Summah.

NELSON Bay Rugby Union Club is ready to roll for season 2021 with the selection of the new committee headed up by president Gavin Roacher, vice presidents Ray Milton and Brad McLeay, secretary Tiani Bishop and treasurer Jeremy Haddad.

The Gropers hit the ground running when they host eight men's games at Strong Oval this Friday night in the Hunter Summer Sevens series. The women play at Dangar Park, Mayfield. Nelson Bay will field a men's and women's team in the series. Kick off is 6pm.

The COVID situation will restrict the club to limited overseas players this season. However, there are several quality players in the pipeline. Travel arrangements are still in doubt.

President Roacher has arranged several high profile speakers for the Gropers' season launch to be held at Murrook Culture Centre on March 16.

Master of ceremonies will be former rugby international and current president of the powerful Eastwood club, Brett Papworth. Guest speaker will be former Groper, Worimi man and Newcastle Citizen of the Year, Dr Kelvin Kong.

THE Nelson Bay Sharks under-19 rugby league team are working hard on fitness and developing their skills for the 2021 season.

The Sharks proved to be competitive last season and will continue with the bulk of last year's squad who were 18 and under in 2020. The team represents north of the Hunter River with players from the Bay, Stockton, Mallabula and Raymond Terrace playing in the elite Newcastle Rugby League competition.

The coaching line adds stability to the group with Andrew Chapman picked as head coach, Ji Hill with his vast experience the assistant coach, Chris Southall strength coach and Ki McLennan fitness coach.

Training is Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6.30pm at Tomaree's No. 1 oval.

A NELSON Bay family will line up for their seventh annual 65k 4 65 Roses Walkathon this month.

The 65km walk, which will be held February 20, raises funds and awareness of Cystic Fibrosis. The Chappell family - parents Simon and Verity with children Milly, Tylah (who lives with CF) and Summah - doing the walk under the name Team Tylah will start in the early hours of the morning.

Walking from Bagnells Beach, the team hopes to finish the 65kms 13 to 14 hours later. The Chappell family and friends have been pounding the pavement in training and have a major sponsor in LJ Hooker Nelson Bay.

The "65 Roses Challenge" is held annually to raise the funds needed to continue vital research into CF, a life-shortening disease that attacks the digestive system and slowly shuts down the lungs. For more information or to donate go to