Unison and the Hawke's Bay Rugby Football Union gave the province's most promising secondary school players the opportunity to develop their skills at the inaugural 1st XV development camp in Hastings on Friday.
The camp is part of the Unison 1st XV Challenge which offers two tiers of competition for the region's secondary school teams: the Challenge Cup and the Challenge Shield.
Unison Group CEO Ken Sutherland said Unison was proud to extend their support of grassroots rugby in the Bay: "This is an exciting addition to our existing junior rugby sponsorship. Thousands of Hawke's Bay children have benefited over our four years of partnership with the Hawke's Bay union, and we're pleased to be able to offer that same support to the regions' secondary school competition."
Twenty-four players attended the Lindisfarne College-hosted camp. Hawke's Bay secondary schools participating in the competition were invited to nominate talented 1st XV players to attend the training camp run by Magpies coaches Craig Philpott and Danny Lee and the union's player development manager Joe Payton.
The camp aimed to equip players with new skills which will enable them to follow the paths of many of Hawke's Bay's top sports people.
Coaches took players through training drills, workshops on topics such as nutrition, and assisted them to develop their own individual performance plans.
"This camp offered these talented young players a taste of what it takes to be a professional rugby player. They have the natural ability, and we hope the experience has inspired them to do the hard work necessary to achieve their goal of a professional career," Hawke's Bay Rugby Football Union CEO Mike Bishop said.
Unison presented each player with a sports bag full of rugby gear along with a certificate.
The annual Old Boys' Winter Sports Exchange with college's winter sports teams was held in the last week of term two. A crowd of Old Boys, parents, staff and students enjoyed the action. We had a good turnout of "younger" Old Boys to play in all the sporting fixtures. Results pretty much went the way of the college but overall a good day, particularly, after the 2011 Winter Sports Day was cancelled because of bad weather.
An entertaining soccer game saw College win 6-4. Sam Donaldson, Dan Stephenson, Matt Broome and Sam Martin all played well for Old Boys. In the rugby match Old Boys claimed their only win of the day with a 15-14 victory.
Jack Crasborn, Brook Newson, Dan Walker, Waka Smit and Dan Ellingham all performed well for the Old Boys. College won the basketball 53-51, the shooting 441-437 and the hockey 6-5.
Thanks to our special projects manager and Old Boys Association secretary Mr Rob Hay for organising the day.
- Matthew Taylor, Year 13