ARMIDALE became something of the sporting epicentre of the region yesterday, with the annual rugby union camp being held at The University of New England as well as a Northern NSW Football camp and an international cricket match between the touring Canterbury Districts Kiwis playing the Northern NSW Under 21 Emus at Armidale Sportsground.
While the young Kiwis and Emus had their first day of a two-day game abandoned because of a wet wicket, the other two camps went ahead.
231 juniors are booked in for the annual UNE rugby union camp. They started arriving Sunday morning for a Sunday afternoon session that also included Wallaby forwards’ coach Andrew Blades.
He also addressed Sunday night’s dinner.
The four-day Rugby Camp finalises tomorrow when NSW Waratahs Pat McCutcheon and Sam Lane are scheduled to take part, Central North development officer Stephen O’Brien said.
“All our Australian Rugby Union development staff are up here for the week,” O’Brien said.
“We also have 25 volunteer coaches.
“It’s open to club or school coaches to come along and learn a few new drills and techniques.
“They’re all most welcome to be a part of it all.
“All the volunteer coaches get something out of it.”
The camp is all about “upskilling” the young players as well as having a bit of fun.
The 2013 camp has a slight change to its format, with the young players given free time through the heat of the middle of the day.
That enables them to use the facilities at Sport UNE, either in the pool or on the basketball, squash and indoor football courts.
“We’re playing a 7s tournament too,” O’Brien said of a competition started last night and continuing tonight for the young players.