Winter sport is in full swing at Ruapehu College. As the snow academy gears up for the season ahead with keen skiers and snowboarders eagerly waiting for the ski areas to open, the squash team is enjoying their competitions and the Under 16 rugby squad, sevens rugby girls and our netball team are all nearing their final games.

The Under 16 rugby team is progressing well as they near the end of the season.

Development of attack and defence has been key for the U16 rugby team.
Development of attack and defence has been key for the U16 rugby team.

Development of attack and defence has been the key priority now that commitment of the relatively new team has significantly improved. It is great to have 15-18 boys at every training, which has not happened in previous years.

In search of their first win for the season, coach Campbell Hart said: "(We're) hoping to be ready to upset a few teams in the business end of the comp."

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Last week was the end of the girls' rugby sevens competition. The girls have shown vast improvement from the beginning of the season and are now competitive against their opposition. Highlights included a win against Rangitikei College and a draw against Cullinane and City College respectively.

The girls' sevens rugby team has shown vast improvement.
The girls' sevens rugby team has shown vast improvement.

The girls are yet to defeat City College or Whanganui High School. Coach Mike Clamp said: "(I'm) really proud of how the girls have stepped up to the challenge and how they have bonded as a team. Looking forward to the 10s competition next term."

After a few seasons of playing together, this is the first season the Ruapehu College netball team has competed in the top secondary school grade. As to be expected, they have found this very challenging. With just one win under their belt and one more game before they start the next round, they will be working hard to improve.

"We will be looking at upsetting a few teams in our next round," said coach Gaylene Taylor.

Development of our football team is a work in progress We have a keen bunch of junior students who have been training hard through term two with coach Andrew Murray and manager Jude Chevin.

They have a match coming up in term three which will be a great introduction to secondary school level football, hopefully getting them enthusiastic for future competition and further training next season.

Mountain biking has been a strong focus around the College in term two with our Year 11 and 12 outdoor classes heading out for trail riding.

Mountain biker Cameron Artz finished 8th in the Whanganui Secondary Schools Mountain Bike race in the Years 11, 12 and 13 solo grade.
Mountain biker Cameron Artz finished 8th in the Whanganui Secondary Schools Mountain Bike race in the Years 11, 12 and 13 solo grade.

Cameron Artz (Year 11) competed in the Whanganui Secondary Schools Mountain Bike race coming 8th in the Years 11, 12 and 13 solo grade.

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PE teacher Angelique Bam and sport co-ordinator Leah Rogers are working on getting a group of students together to do a weekly ride, offering another regular sport option within the school.

"Mountain biking is a sport we are lucky enough to have a local terrain we can take advantage of," Bam said.

"With trails in our area which we can ride to from school, plus a park (The Pines) specifically built for mountain biking just 20 minutes drive, we are encouraging the students to get out and make the most of our beautiful alpine environment."

Ruapehu College would like to take the opportunity to thank volunteer coaches and managers. Without them, the opportunities for sport at Ruapehu College would not exist for the students. Campbell Hart — U16 Rugby Coach, Glenda Higginson — U16 Rugby Manager, Mike Clamp — Girls' Rugby Coach & Manager, Gaylene Taylor & Angelique Bam — Netball Coach, Jude Chevin — Soccer Manager, Andrew Murray — Soccer Coach, Mick Darmody — Teacher in Charge for Soccer, Meredith Wilson — Snow Academy Manager & Teacher in Charge.