Women's rugby in New Zealand is growing at a rapid pace.
At the highest level, the Black Ferns are now professionally contracted players while in the Bay of Plenty the game is growing with almost every team fielding new players.
The goal now is to build on that momentum at junior level, which the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union is doing with the upcoming Bay of Plenty Girls' Under-15 Carnival.
The event, in Papamoa on July 9, will comprise skill development, team challenges and a round robin rugby tournament between the Central, Western and Eastern Bay of Plenty Sub-Unions. The carnival will also be used to identify players for the 2018 Bay of Plenty under-15 representative squad.
Central Bay of Plenty head coach Julie Lewis is calling for girls aged 13 and 14, regardless of whether they have played rugby before, to attend three open trainings in Rotorua over the coming three weeks in preparation for the event.
Those in attendance will learn from the best. Lewis and her fellow coaches Sequoia Te Aonui and Tania-Rose Raharuhi were all members of the 2017 Championship-winning Bay of Plenty Volcanix.
"We are thrilled to help these players find more opportunities to play the sport we love," Lewis said.
"These kinds of events are key for growing the women's game and getting new players involved. Rugby has given us so many experiences and opportunities, including the chance to get paid to play, the least we can do is help girls to find and fall in love with this amazing team sport. We hope they have as much fun as we do."
The Central Bay of Plenty trainings will be 10.30am-12pm on Saturday, June 23, Saturday, June 30 and Saturday, July 7 at Marist St Michael's Rugby and Sports Club in Rotorua.
The campaign will culminate in the Bay of Plenty Rugby Under-15 Carnival on Monday, July 9 from 10am-3pm at Gordon Spratt Reserve in Papamoa.
For more information or to get involved, follow the Central BOP Girls Rugby U15 campaign on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CBOPGirlsRugby, or contact Julie Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 021 0854 1222.