West Harbour make history, name first female Shute Shield president

by Sam Phillips

West Harbour have made history, appointing the first ever female president in the Shute Shield's 143 year history.

Siobhan Seiuli, who has volunteered at the club for 11 years, was appointed president in an historic moment at the club's annual general meeting, following unanimous support from the board.

It's a role that Seiuli will take on with great pride, having served as the club's junior president from 2010 to 2012 and the vice president since then.

"It honestly wasn't something that I had thought about but I had a few people say to me that they thought I would be the right person for the job when it became clear our current president didn't want to renew," Seiuli told RUGBY.com.au.

"I kind of laughed when it was first suggested but enough people at the club - players, parents and staff - along with the board, all backed me so here I am."

Taqele NaiyaravoroSeiuili first got involved with the club when the eldest of her two sons started playing rugby more than a decade ago and since then she has taken up almost every administrative position one possibly can at any given club.

From junior registrar and colts manager to president and vice president, Seiuli is part of the furniture at Concord.

The club have found financial trouble in recent years but they are back in the black now and Seiuli is charged with leading a transitional period for the Pirates.

They have battled to remain competitive with the big guns at Shute Shield level and while an immediate resurgence would be nice, Seiuili tempered expectations.

"Change management is my thing and while it would be nice we can't expect everything to suddenly fall into place and win it all next year," she said.Timana Tahu played his club footy for the Pirates. Photo: Getty Images"We would love to be in the top six straight away but to do that we need to put a few things in place.

"We need to have the support there for the players and coaches so the players can do their jobs and the coaches can do theirs.

"We have to get that in place first and get on the front foot in that regard."

West Harbour have had some big names turn out for the club in recent years. Photo: Getty ImagesThe incoming president also put an emphasis on ensuring the club remains on firm financial footing.

"Absolutely, that's so critical," Seiuli said.

"It's essential in the modern environment but we also have to make sure that we invest in people.

"We need to invest in them and resources for our players, as a rugby club isn't all about the stuff that happens on field.

"We want to support our players in every way we can and that's something we are going to be putting a big emphasis on moving forward."