New rugby comp breaking participation barriers
RUGBY UNION: Giving more students the chance to participate in rugby is the focus of a new Darling Downs competition that kicked off last week, The Darling Downs Super Schools Cup.
Our Lady of the Southern Cross College are among five schools participating in the competition aimed at reducing participation barriers for non-traditional rugby schools, and providing opportunities for student athletes to thrive.
The College played their first game against Scots PGC College at Highfields on Wednesday night, in the the Darling Downs Super Schools Cup which will run for six weeks over three age divisions, under-13, under-15 and under-18.
Funded by the Australian Rugby Foundation, the competition will draw extra funds into the College to cover equipment, travel, and referee training costs. The initial funding period is for three-years with the ability to extend the opportunity to other schools in the subsequent years.
Darling Downs Rugby Union hope the competition will provide a defined transition strategy for school-participants into local clubs, allow for the professional development of local coaches, referees and volunteers, as well as bringing more players to the sport.
Other participating schools include SCOTS PGC (Warwick), Toowoomba Anglican School (Toowoomba), Mary MacKillop Catholic College (Toowoomba) and Faith Lutheran College (Plainlands).
The competition is the result of a collaboration between participating schools, local rugby clubs, Darling Downs Rugby Union and the Queensland Rugby Union.
The Darling Downs Rugby Referee Association are set to benefit with funding to support the growth of its membership and provision for professional development opportunities for existing officials.
President of the DDRRA Tim Biggs reaffirmed the strategic significance of this opportunity.
"In order for rugby to grow in this region, the capacity of the referee association to have enough qualified members, trained and developed to officiate at all levels, is in many ways an important pre-requisite,” he said.
The College will host Friday night home rounds at John Ritter Oval on August 23, 30 with the three grades will play from 5pm until 8pm.