Thriving juniors send call out for competitors

By Zaryd Wilson

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FOOTBALL FRIENDS: Almost 50 Hunterville children have registered to play football including, from left, Javaark Kennedy-Goodwin, Liam Watson, Sophie Cherrie, Duncan McIntyre and Evan McIntyre.
FOOTBALL FRIENDS: Almost 50 Hunterville children have registered to play football including, from left, Javaark Kennedy-Goodwin, Liam Watson, Sophie Cherrie, Duncan McIntyre and Evan McIntyre.

They have the uniforms, the eight trained coaches, the equipment and nearly 50 players. Now they just need someone else to play.

In just a few months the Hunterville Sports Club has gone from having no registered football players to 46.

"I'm very, very happy," the club's football co-ordinator, Rosie McIntyre, said. "The goal was to have a football hub in Hunterville, not just for 2016 but long-term. It was about getting the children to it and keeping the children playing."

Football is one of several sports the club offers after forming with the goal of increasing the numbers of primary-aged children playing sport.

The philosophy is to have different sports on different days so children can play as many as they want. The club runs football on a Tuesday after school rather than joining Saturday leagues. "The benefit is only to the children and the community," Mrs McIntyre said.

"We had a lot of interest in football but because of the clash with other sports and because of the travel needs, we didn't have children playing football."

She said they started with a little bit of coaching last year, paid for by the parents. A KiwiSport grant bought more coaching this year and now the club has eight teams affiliated with Central Football and New Zealand Football's Whole of Football programme.

"The major downside is that we haven't been able to attract teams from other clubs and areas to come and play at our hub," Mrs McIntyre said. "At the moment we're just playing Hunterville versus Hunterville within our teams."

She said they were seeking groups of at least five players from clubs, schools, anyone who could get a group together. The Hunterville Vet Club Hunterville Sports Club would provide all the equipment and coaching free.

"I think we are on the road to success. To go from nothing to 46 players, now it's just about people coming in and looking at the stuff we've got."

Those interested in putting a team of at least five together (ages 3-10) to play at Hunterville School on Tuesday afternoons can contact Rosie on 0272 414 439 or rmcintyre@farmside.co.nz. It can be a one-off game or regular.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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