Sevens rugby has ventured into new territory across the Hunter with an all-girls junior competition launching on Friday.
Event organiser Will Scully said the short-term program would not only encourage participation, but also help provide a direct pathway from regional areas to the world stage.
“We’re lucky enough to have Hannah Southwell involved, so the girls can see there’s a legitimate pathway,” Scully said. “She’s a Youth Commonwealth Games gold medallist, having represented Australia, her state and region at both senior and junior levels.”
Scully said there was a mix of experienced and novice players in the Hunter Junior Rugby Union girls summer sevens, which is supported by the Hawthorne Club.
“The more experienced girls are taking on more of a leadership role,” he said.
Wanderers, Merewether, Hamilton, Easts, Southern Beaches, Nelson Bay and Maitland are the clubs involved. There are under-15 and under-17 divisions.
Action moves to Tomaree this Friday, Walters Park next and then Marcellin Park on March 9 before a finals series at No.2 Sportsground. Games from 6:30pm.
* COUNTRY Rugby League will on Tuesday announce new-look under-16 and under-18 representative competitions to take place this year over seven weeks.
Several of the 11 participating teams have already formed partnerships with NRL clubs.
* MONTANA Monk will turn her attention to the Australian Junior Athletics Championships in Sydney next month after an impressive state carnival.
The Macquarie Hunter Little Athletics Club member claimed the 14-year girls 1500 metres title last weekend as well as collecting silver in the 800m and 400m events.
* NELSON Bay were the region’s best at the weekend’s NSW Junior State Cup in Port Macquarie, finishing runner-up in the under-16 girls Toohey Cup.
The Neptunes narrowly went down 3-2 against the Wagga Wagga Vipers in Sunday’s touch football final.
* NEWCASTLE will have seven hockey representatives at next month’s Under-18 Australian Championships in Tasmania.
Eamon Smith, Ky Willott, Angus Abbo, Josh Magann and Sebastian Rollings were named across the two NSW men’s squads while Teyjah Abell and Phoebe Bloink-Hollier were picked in the women’s blue team.
Nationals take place in Launceston from March 13 to 21.