Leg­endary league camp can­celled

Auckland City Harbour News - - SITUATIONS VACANT - SAMHEWAT

Auck­land Rugby League (ARL) was forced to can­cel a leg­endary train­ing camp for the first time in 29 years due to dam­age caused by last week’s ex­treme weather.

ARL made the call to can­cel its Ju­nior Ed­u­ca­tional Train­ing Sys­tem (JETS) camp at the YMCA’s Camp Adair in Hunua on Wed­nes­day last week, just two days out from the camp.

It had to act fast to alert the 80 teenagers reg­is­tered that a JETS camp would not be hap­pen­ing in 2017.

Last week more than 200 par­ents and chil­dren on a school camp at Camp Adair were evac­u­ated af­ter they woke up to find their airbeds float­ing and flash flood­ing waist-high in some places.

ARL foot­ball man­ager Pat Carthy, who has been at­tend­ing the camp since its in­cep­tion in 1989, said the camp had seen plenty of rain in the past, but noth­ing that had forced them to can­cel it en­tirely.

‘‘It’s ex­tremely dis­ap­point­ing,’’ Carthy said.

‘‘You’ve got close to 100 boys who were ex­tremely keen.

‘‘They are all dis­ap­pointed, but they can un­der­stand. Like ev­ery­one, they have seen the pic­tures and there’s not a lot else you can do.’’

The camp, which is a sta­ple on the Auck­land Rugby League calendar, has in the past en­ter­tained rugby league leg­ends such as Stacey Jones, Awen Gut­ten­beil, Monty Betham, Rob­bie Paul, and more re­cently, joint win­ner of the 2016 Dally M Medal, Ja­son Tau­malolo.

The camp is de­signed to not only teach young­sters the prac­ti­cal skills in­volved with on-field per­for­mance, but also life skills needed off the pitch.

ARL foot­ball de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer James Pule­hega said the im­pact of the camp on young­sters made the de­ci­sion to can­cel even more heart­break­ing.

‘‘The camp has a his­tor­i­cal and nos­tal­gic mean­ing to it,’’ Pule­hega said.

‘‘It’s a shame we won’t be able to de­liver the pro­gramme this year, but the de­ci­sion has been made to guar­an­tee player and staff safety.’’

De­spite the set­back, ARL is con­fi­dent the camp will re­turn next year, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing this week’s weather is be­ing la­belled as a one in 100 year event.

As for Camp Adair, it has been re­ported that a re­pair bill of more than $500,000 may be in on the cards.

SUP­PLIED

Bud­ding young­sters hop­ing to at­tend Auck­land Rugby League’s JETS train­ing camp will now have to wait un­til next year.

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