Kamo carry Rippa flag for Northland

By Andrew Johnsen

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Madisyn Heperi, 10, with a strong carry. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Madisyn Heperi, 10, with a strong carry. Photo / Michael Cunningham

Kamo Primary School will be flying the flag for Northland at this year's National Rippa Rugby Championship.

Two-hundred Rippa Rugby stars, representing 20 schools from around New Zealand, will meet in Wellington for a two-day tournament in Wellington on August 23 and 24.

After beginning their training in March, Kamo Primary have won both the Whangarei and Northland qualifying tournaments to earn their spot at the nationals.

Kamo Primary School's coach Tim Burke is thrilled to have qualified for the national tournament for the first time. He said his team were looking forward to playing some good Rippa and representing Kamo Primary School and Northland.

"We've been training three times a week, the players come from different sports like rugby, netball and hockey," he said.

"The kids play as a team, know each other's strengths, have a great team culture and a winning attitude.

"They're really excited for the tournament. They would be out training every day if they could.

"They are looking forward to the whole experience: some are excited about being on a plane for the first time, others about being away from home experiencing different accommodation and hopefully nice food."

The team, consisting of five boys and five girls, will be captained by Monty Parkinson who said the team is looking good.

"We're pretty fit, we've been training good and working hard," he said.

"It'll be a good experience, we'll have fun playing and hopefully we'll win."

Harry Lowther, 10, finds space to run.
Harry Lowther, 10, finds space to run.

The championship has grown over the years since it began in 2011, and over 600 schools play in regional tournaments across the country to qualify to represent their province. Rippa Rugby is a fun, safe non-contact form of the game where primary school-aged girls and boys take part together in mixed teams.

- Northern Advocate

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