The development of girls rugby has received a boost with the announcement of a new talented-athlete programme at NEGS.
NSW Rugby and Sport UNE have committed to supporting the programme and will provide specialist coaching to support NEGS coaches and young players. Trials for the new programme will be held on November 26, for full implementation in 2019.
NEGS will build what has been described as a state-level standard rugby field to facilitate professional tournaments and visiting schools and clubs in the region.
NSW rugby development manager, Andrew Hill, said this is fantastic news for the development of rugby at the girls boarding school, and the region.
“NSW Rugby is committed to increasing the profile of women’s rugby, and a key part of the NEGS programme is to identify and assist talented athletes in regional areas reach their potential,” Hill said.
The director of UNE Life, David Schmude, said the partnership would provide NEGS’s rugby-program athletes with the opportunity to access representative pathways and specialist coaching close to home.
“Supporting partnerships, such as this one between NEGS and UNE Lions, helps student athletes reach their full sporting potential whilst continuing their studies in regional NSW,” he said.
“Through access to top NSW Rugby and UNE Lions high-performance staff and facilities right at their door step, the pathway to representative teams such as the UNE Lions and Australian Pearls has never been clearer.”
Students from years 7 to 12 will be eligible to attend the trials, and they can come from NEGS, elsewhere in Australia or overseas.
Those successful in making it into the year-round program will receive intensive training and skills development.
NEGS director of sports, Josh Cohen, said all players will be given the best possible rugby experience.
“Our ethos is all-inclusive, and we aim to give as many of our students and talented players from around NSW the opportunity to develop their rugby skills at a competitive level.”
“For NEGS students and talented athletes in the programme to have access to specialist coaches, on-site facilities and support to attend regional and state-wide competitions is a huge boon for girls rugby in New England/North West.
“We are also pleased to announce that we will be entering the Independent Girls Schools Rugby Sevens Competition in Sydney in 2019.
“Having this opportunity to compete against the large Sydney schools is a first, and will further enhance the development of their rugby.”
NEGS principal, Mary Anne Evans, said the school values the support of NSW Rugby.
Said the new initiative is a key milestone in line with NEGS’ strategic plan.
“We are committed to diversifying in areas where we see positive impacts,” she said.
“Engaging in a wide diversity of co-curricular activities is deeply embedded at NEGS and a unique aspect to our school.”