In partnership with Charter Hall, the Shute Shield is proud to acknowledge the communities which support and develop our great Club Rugby sides.
To do this, each week we will feature an individual who tirelessly contributes to their Club Rugby family. An embodiment of service, passion, and community.
Dianne ‘Di’ Debreczeni has been a proud supporter of West Harbour since moving across the Tasman in 1986, watching husband Michael representing Wests Colts.
When their son, Jack Debreczeni, was registered into Wests Juniors as a spritely three-and-a-half-year-old, Di saw an opportunity to volunteer.
From there, Di’s affiliation with the Club grew, contributing as Team Manager and Wests Juniors Representative Committee Member for nearly twenty years.
Di admits that the opportunity to volunteer has always been an easy decision.
“It’s vital that everyone gives back to their community,” she said.
“For me, volunteering at West Harbour is something I can do, want to do, and love doing.
“The more people passionate and involved in this sport at a grassroots level, the more our game will progress.”
Di’s involvement at West Harbour was made even more poignant by the continual progression of her son Jack, who earnt his First Grade debut for the Pirates in 2013.
Following a successful campaign at Shute Shield level, Jack went on to earn a contract for the Melbourne Rebels, before moving across to Japan, where he currently plays for the Hino Red Dolphins.
“Jack has been around the Club since he was a baby,” she said.
“He was at all his fathers matches, and when he was old enough, he begun tagging along to the training sessions as well.
“West Harbour have always supported him well.”
For Di, it’s the affiliation of different cultures and stories which makes her West Harbour family such a unique community to be involved in.
“Our community is so diverse, but incredibly united,” she said.
“Something very special happens when you pull on the Pirate colours. You celebrate your wins because you appreciate how hard you fought to earn them.
“The friendships my family and I have made at West Harbour are invaluable.”
A self-professed Pirate rugby tragic, Di even secured four original seats from Concord Oval prior to its commenced redevelopment in 2020.
The iconic multicoloured seats sit proudly in her backyard, a vibrant representation of just how much West Harbour means to the Debreczeni’s.
“I try to encourage anyone I can to volunteer and help out, what you get is so rewarding,” she said.
“You meet some wonderful people in our sport, rugby is a fantastic equalizer.
“If someone were to ask me to start my time all over again with this Club, I would say absolutely.”
Come Saturday, as West Harbour prepare to host Gordon at Drummoyne Oval, you can be sure that Dianne Debreczeni will be cheering emphatically from the stands.