In the past fortnight, the Auckland Rugby League has taken players on trips to the Bay of Plenty and Northland to take part in rugby league activities hosted alongside its district partners.
Sunday, June 11 saw Auckland U15 and U17 girls’ teams head south to Rotorua to take on their Bay of Plenty counterparts, with players from seven different ARL clubs – Otahuhu, Ellerslie, Mangere East, Mt Albert, Richmond, Otara and Glenora – taking part.
Auckland won both matches, with Seriah Palepale named the U15 MVP and Tahlia Aoake winning it for the U17 grade.
Fair play medals were awarded to Christine Tongia (U15) and Gzeal Heremaia-Lemon (U17).
A few days later a bus was loaded up with 40 boys and girls from 14 different Auckland clubs for a U14 Development Day in Northland.
The players were joined by counterparts from Northland for the day, with four different Northland clubs taking part.
Attendees were run through a series of skill drills before taking part in games of League Tag, which is the ARL’s non-contact version of full-field rugby league.
“We have a duty where possible to provide opportunities for everyone involved in our game, whether they are in Auckland or not,” Rasmussen said.
“It’s a chance for us to share our resources with other districts and also an opportunity to take our players to a new place to train alongside and play with, and against, new people.”
Later this year Auckland teams will take part in the National Youth Tournament, NZRL Men’s and Women’s Championship competitions and the ARL will take a male and female teenage representative side to Canterbury to play the South Island.
ARL coaching and development manager Viggo Rasmussen said the ARL is committed to helping foster the game in the districts and thanked counterparts in Bay of Plenty and Northland for the opportunity to work with them.