Tukaroa Roi has achieved a special feat this season, finally getting the chance to lace up the boots and run out alongside his two sons for the Waverley Oakleigh Panthers this season.
After moving to Melbourne from New Zealand in 1999, Roi has been a long-time volunteer and loyal club man at the Panthers, where he finally achieved the special moment late last month lining up alongside his two boys Roi and Romia.
The Waverley community got behind the Roi family on the day, with many of their family and friends coming along to share in the special moment.
“It was such a big moment it was massive, it was a bit emotional, just ticking that box of finally getting to run out with my two sons,” Roi said.
“The whole crew from Waverley were so encouraging and even some of the old coaches came out to support, plus my older daughter flew home from Cairns to watch the game and then flew back," he said.
“Not many fathers get to have that chance to run with their boys in front of all the loved ones so it's just a really great feeling."
Roi has been heavily involved in both of his son’s development and after dedicating countless hours volunteering around the club during their junior days, their journey finally came full circle.
“I’m a bit of a shy person but I got asked to coach as a volunteer, so I went there as the assistant coach and then eventually became more involved as a coach there at the club,” he said.
“While I was coaching and involved in the club, I was always looking forward to playing alongside him, especially since I coached Romeio from such a young age," he said.
“It’s made me realise that there is more that goes on behind the scenes and has made me want to keep getting involved because I just love it."
“I love taking responsibility and organising the boys and all the preparation and having the chance to be a bit of a role model for the kids.”
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