Young guns in the ranks
Wednesday, 21st May, 2014
By Ethan James
Rugby League gala days have helped boost the junior ranks, according to Western NSW Game Development Officer Matt Kiddle.
More than 180 children from five schools took part in a tag gala day held at Alma Oval last Friday.
Kiddle said the event was important in growing the sport in Broken Hill.
“It was our second year of the competition... before it has been washed out but there are definitely more here than last time,” he said.
“It’s good to get the juniors through and I think that we have seen an increase in numbers in the Under 11 and U13 age groups since this competition started.
“As is the case with a lot of sports of town though, we find it a bit harder in the 15s when kids hit high school.”
Alma won both the Year 3/4 and Year 5/6 grand finals with the latter going into extra time.
The school defeated Sacred Heart in the younger age group and Central in the senior decider.
“The level of skill improved throughout the day and most importantly everyone had a lot of fun,” Kiddle said.
The NRL development office has started a ‘Backyard League Centre’ at AJ Keast Park for kids ages 6 to 13.
“They’re for kids who perhaps can’t play on the weekend or travel out to Menindee and Wilcannia for junior matches,” Kiddle said.
“They’re completely free and we’ll be holding them from 5pm on Thursday afternoons.”