'Go For Gold' search for Olympic women's seven talent

New Zealand's Portia Woodman in action in the Olympics womens sevens match against France. Photo/Photosport
New Zealand's Portia Woodman in action in the Olympics womens sevens match against France. Photo/Photosport

Starting from today, talent scouts are on the lookout for young female New Zealand athletes with an Olympic dream, who want to give sevens a go.

Following on from the success of talent and recruitment programme, "Go For Gold" in 2012, New Zealand Rugby (NZR) will hold 18 trials across the country this month to identify potential athletes for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

NZR high performance sevens manager Tony Philp said the Rio sevens silver medallists included athletes selected from the 2012 programme and he believed there was a lot more untapped talent out there keen to realise an Olympic dream in sevens.

"We are looking for young women who have the right attitude and skills for sevens. They don't have to be currently playing rugby - we can teach them that.

"We're looking for speed, power and strength, but we're also looking for athletes who have a strong work ethic, a positive attitude and a drive to learn and train.

"They might be sprinters, netballers, hockey players or rowers," he said."It doesn't matter, we are looking for potential."

Philp said the lure of representing New Zealand at the Olympics was only part of the story. Sevens offered women the opportunity to be part of a unique sporting family and to have a professional sports career, a rarity in female sports.

"The Black Ferns Sevens travel the world to play sevens. Next year, it's the Sevens World Cup in San Francisco and the Commonwealth games in Queensland, as well as the Sevens World Series that takes them to six different countries.

"It's a great opportunity for athletes and I'd encourage all young women, who think they have what it takes, to give it a go."

Athletes can register at sevensgoforgold.co.nz or turn up on the day.

Go For Gold 2017
February 14 6-8pmTaurangaQueen Elizabeth Youth Centre
February 155.30-7.30pm GisborneLytton High School
February 165.30-7.30pmPalmerston North Queen Elizabeth College
February 1810am-noonAucklandOne Tree Hill College
February 181-3pmAucklandOne Tree Hill College
February 1810am-noonWellingtonSt Patrick's College, Silverstream
February 181-3pmWellingtonSt Patrick's College, Silverstream
February 1910am-noonNorth ShoreRangitoto College
February 191-3pmNorth ShoreRangitoto College
February 1910am-noon CambridgeAvantidrome
February 191-3pmCambridgeAvantidrome
February 215.30-7.30pmNelsonWaimea College
February 226-8pmInvercargillRugby Park
February 2510am-noonDunedinLogan Park
February 251-3pmDunedinLogan Park
February 2610am-noonChristchurchNZIS (Middleton field)
February 261-3pmChristchurchNZIS (Middleton field)

- NZ Herald

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