Year 7 and 8 Schools Comp Makes Its Return
This week marked the return of Primary Sport Canterbury’s Year 7 and 8 midweek schools rugby league competition, with five schools – Shirley Intermediate, Chisnallwood Intermediate, Breens Intermediate (who had the first-round bye), Casebrook Intermediate and Haeata Community Campus – taking part in 2017.
The competition went on hiatus last year, but the success of a Kiwi League Tag Tournament late last year and a rugby league tournament early this year renewed schools’ enthusiasm.
The schools play every Tuesday afternoon (1.30pm kick-off) at Hagley Park, with the competition slated to continue until mid-August – and Canterbury Rugby League Development Officer Nick Le Comte said the early signs were very encouraging.
“It was excellent quality. Chisnallwood have always been pretty dominant when they’ve played in tournaments in recent years, but the overall quality across all the teams was really good,” Le Comte said.
“All the kids played in great spirits and it was awesome to see them out on the field, playing rugby league.”
Le Comte also praised the schools’ commitment to the concept.
“The schools themselves play a huge part in the competition. They coach and manage the teams, and referee all the games,” he said.
“Some of the Shirley Boys High School students are coaching the Chisnallwood team, and Haeata students are coaching Haeata as well, so having that link with the secondary schools is great.
“We’re just trying to provide them with some support, Canterbury Rugby League and through the clubs as well.”
Around 40-50 percent of the students playing in the competition also play junior rugby league with CRL clubs on weekends, and the aim is more of these kids registering with club teams.
Le Comte said it is crucial these kids aren’t lost to rugby league, and CRL is working with schools and clubs to ensure there is a pathway for players after they move out of the Year 7 and 8 bracket.
“We’re identifying which secondary schools these intermediate school teams will feed into – for example, Shirley and Chisnallwood (players) will move onto Shirley Boys High School.
“The crucial thing is to keep a competition going for when they transition into that age group, another avenue of rugby league that’s being played.
“That’s what we’re working on at the moment with our secondary schools, meeting with their sports coordinators.
“We’re hoping to start off with a Year 9 and 10 competition, canvass the schools to see how that goes and hopefully branch out into a senior comp later on.”
For more information on school competitions and junior rugby league, contact CRL Development Officer Nick Le Comte on (03) 338 4531 or email@example.com