Record numbers for holiday rugby

Fun and games . . . Ready to get stuck into a game of bullrush at Ashbury Park for the Harlequins club day are (from left) Leo, 8, Luke, 8, Karter, 8, Sam, 8 and Luke, 7. PHOTOS: CONNOR HALEY

A record number of children took part in a ripper week of rugby fun as the South Canterbury Rugby holiday programme chalked up another successful outing.

The initiative has run for the past four years, with clubs around the region each holding a day of rugby-centric fun for their grassroot players.

The programme, which ran from April 15-24, had the young players spending the morning at different stations, taking part in activities such as Rippa rugby, bullrush, bumping into each other in Zorb balls and much more.

South Canterbury Rugby game development manager Caro Rhodes said this year’s participation was up significantly on previous years.

‘‘We’ve seen nearly 500 children overall, which is far more then we normally see.

‘‘It’s been a big increase as we normally only reach the early 400s. So, this year has been a really big success and it’s great to see so many taking part.

‘‘We used to centralise all our holiday programmes out at Alpine [Energy Stadium] but for the last four years we’ve operated this way.

‘‘It’s a really good way for South Canterbury Rugby to connect back with the clubs and it’s nice for the kids to be at their own clubs.’’

On the move . . . Luke makes a dart to the tryline as part of the South Canterbury Rugby holiday programme.

Temuka’s club day was a special highlight for many after a visit from the Crusaders and Highlanders Super Rugby teams. ‘‘It was pretty exciting for the young ones.

‘‘Temuka Transport have been great at sponsoring rugby here, so it’s just their way of giving back to the community.

‘‘The wee kids just loved it, getting a chance to see their role models.’’ She said it was great to have other community organisations take part.

‘‘We also reached out to the YMCA and the fire service just to make it more of a community event. It’s been really good having them involved.

‘‘The whole programme is really just about connecting people together.’’

Ms Rhodes wished to thank one person in particular.

‘‘A big shout out to Todd Mudie who sponsors these holiday programmes and is a big part of making them happen, and helping us give these opportunities to our grassroots players coming through.