Rugby: Kids' touch rugby a hit

Toko School is the unbeaten champions of the Central Taranaki Schools touch rugby competition, having won the year 5/6 and the year 7/8 final last week played at Stratford Primary.

"Both teams (Toko) went through the competition unbeaten although the year 7/8 team (playing the Stratford Primary Bears) had a scare in the final with the match going into golden point," says Aaron Moore, one of the organisers. The final score was 6-5. The Toko year 5/6 played Kaponga School.

The tournament is the first touch rugby event to be held in more than a decade and Aaron says it is due to a parent earlier in the year asking if there is "anymore rugby the kids can do".

"It made me think and I thought, why not start touch?"

Over the last six weeks, 16 teams of year 5/6 and 7/8 children from Stratford Primary (three teams in each grade), St Josephs, which had two teams in each grade, and Toko, Ngaere and Kaponga that each had one team in each grade, have participated in the competition held at Stratford Primary School.

The competition was organised and run by the Stratford Rugby and Sports Club senior A and B players who referreed the matches (none had kids in any of the schools).

"In total, 148 boys and girls participated and they all played outstanding. It was for just fun, to get kids involved in sport in after school," says Aaron, adding that they have had great response from the schools, parents and local businesses. A big thank you to all those local businesses who sponsored prizes for the children and to all those parents who helped coach teams."

He says the tournament was a huge success and that they are considering next year holding it in term one as well as four.

- Stratford Press

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