Carnival to kick off league season

ONE of the biggest annual school rugby league carnivals will be held at Bellingen’s Connell Park today from 10am.

The gala day for years five and six, which specifically targets players in the Bellinger Valley and Dorrigo region, has been running successfully for many years.

Australian Rugby League development officer Mike Castle said the carnival had been a traditional season-starter for younger players.

“It is the first leg of the prestigious state-wide Legends Shield,” he said yesterday.

“The top team will progress to the Mid North Coast Schubert Sevens finals on June 21 and winners of that event will go on to the state grand final in Sydney later in the year.”

Last year’s winner was Repton Public and the school will be back to defend its title.

Teams are also coming from Bellingen, Dorrigo, Urunga and Dundurrabin Public schools.

“There will be two League Tag competitions run along with the main draw, where kids from three of the schools will get their first taste of rugby league in a fun, non-contact form of the game,” Castle said.

“Unfortunately, St Mary’s Bellingen had to pull out due to unforeseen circumstances.

However, they will get an invitation to one of our other League Tag gala days so their students don’t miss out on the fun.”

During the carnival there will be 24 matches in three divisions, plus finals beginning about 1pm.

Bellingen-Dorrigo junior league club officials will be there to answer questions parents might have regarding playing in the Group 2 weekend competition.

The Magpies have set a goal of being represented in every age division this season and their plans are close to fruition.

Students taking part today will be eligible for a free BCU bank account.

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