Season 2020 kicked off with a big change in the leadership at Shammies Juniors.  After 5 years at the helm, the Club President baton was passed from Adam Dunn to John Kilkenny.  Adam’s leadership saw our fledgling club grow to 250+ kids, ensuring the ethos of 1883 is implanted in the veins of the youngsters embarking on their rugby journey.  Now it’s JK’s turn at the wheel and we thought we would find out more about him. 

Where were you born? 

Wellington, New Zealand


Married to Marcela and kids Javier (u11’s) and Thalia (u6’s)

How long have you been a Shammies Parent?

6 years

What’s your rugby background?

I  grew up in Rugby Clubs as my father was always involved with a local team. Started playing Rugby when I was 13 and finally hung up my boots at 30. Played in New Zealand and UK. Originally a full back and inside centre but moved in to hooker and openside as I got older.

What are your standout memories as a Shammies parent so far?

When my son Javier first played for Shammies, scored a try and was awarded player of the day. Equally delighted by my daughter pulling on the Blue and Maroon and scoring 8 tries on her debut. I am genuinely delighted (sometimes frustrated :)) every week by our amazing players and parents.

Take us through your favourite Sunday meal?

Lamb roast accompanied by a nice Aussie Shiraz (and those Pinot’s from Otago aren’t bad either)

Favourite players you enjoy watching at international level?

Richie McCaw, Jonah Lomu, Christian Cullen. My current favourite player is Aaron Smith.

Favourite movie?

Saving Private Ryan, it’s an action flick but also has a nice message about doing the right thing even if it means a short term sacrifice.

Ideal holiday destination?

Somewhere that teaches me something new, is a challenge and/or builds a great memory. E.g. I have an annual trip to hike in NZ with my son for a week, my 40th was the Kokoda track and my wife’s (Marcie) 40th was in Italy.  Italy was less about the hiking..

As a new President, what have been the main challenges so far?

Balancing the interests and demands of so many people. Not trying to do everything myself and identifying members to help the Club. 

What direction do you want to take this wonderful club?

Greater integration with other community groups. Utilising the Shammies network to build a wider support network and programs for our players as they mature into young adults.

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