THE Warilla-Lake South Junior Rugby League Football Club marked an important milestone in their history last weekend, celebrating their 50th anniversary.
One of Group 7's biggest junior clubs, the Gorillas are still going strong after half a century, with at least one team in every junior competition and more than 250 registered players.
"Fifty years is definitely a great milestone and we're pretty proud of the fact that we've made it this far, and that we're still going along pretty good at the same time," president Bill Clark said.
"From under-6s to under-16s we've got 17 teams and 263 players. There's a few age groups where we've got a couple of teams, and we're pretty happy to see we've still got numbers like that."
While the club has made it this far, Clark said their committee and volunteers know they can't afford to rest on their laurels when it comes to making sure the club is around for another 50 years.
"We've got good numbers, but unlike clubs like Albion Park and Shellharbour we don't have new estates going in around us, so we don't get those big numbers of new people moving into the area.
"We know what we need to do though, and in some ways that's just keep going down the path we're on at the moment. The people involved in the club work hard, we've got an open committee where people can approach us if they have an issue and there's a real family atmosphere around the club.
"They're the types of things that keep your club going.
"The other good sign is that just about everyone on the committee isn't a parent of a current player. It just shows that we're all involved because we want to be and because we enjoy it, not because we feel like we have to be."
Clark said the celebrations, which included a dinner on Saturday night at Warilla Sports Club with more than 300 people in attendance, as well as a catch-up at Warilla Hotel the next day, were a great way to recognise the club's helpers.
"You look at the people on our committee at the moment and they probably put in three nights a week with meetings and fund-raisers and those sorts of things, and that sort of effort's been going on for years and years.
"Taking on a position like treasurer, secretary or registrar can be a hell of a job and the people that give up hours and hours to do jobs like that and all the other things that go on behind the scenes deserve some recognition."