How it all be­gan ....

The Mt As­pir­ing Col­lege 1st XV was set up ini­tially through the ef­forts of Hamish Cros­bie who coaches the side and Mt As­pir­ing Col­lege Prin­ci­pal Wayne Bosley.

Central Otago Mirror - - LAKES DISTRICT NEWS -

Add into this the cur­rent as­sis­tant coach Mike Ma­son and Man­ager Steve Schikker, and it is this four mem­ber group who are re­spon­si­ble for the day-to­day run­ning of the team. Sup­port is also to the fore from Wakatipu High Prin­ci­pal, Steve Hall, Cromwell Col­lege Prin­ci­pal Ma­son Stretch, and Cromwell Col­lege rugby ad­min­is­tra­tor John Drum­mond. When the num­ber of teams par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Otago-wide rugby com­pe­ti­tion dropped from 11 teams in 2009 to four in 2012, this was the cat­a­lyst for the in­vi­ta­tion be­ing is­sued to the Up­per Clutha Un­der 18 side to be part of the High­landers 1st XV com­pe­ti­tion by the High­landers Board. Hav­ing com­prised Mt As­pir­ing Col­lege play­ers at that point, Cros­bie said that they re­alised the best thing they could do for their play­ers was to step up a grade and

play in this com­pe­ti­tion which show­cases the best teams in the lower South Is­land. There was also a be­lief that the play­ers needed to be chal­lenged in their sport and be­ing in­volved in this com­pe­ti­tion would make this hap­pen. An in­vi­ta­tion was sub­se­quently is­sued to Wakatipu and Cromwell sec­ondary school play­ers to take part in tri­als for the team. And the rest, as they say, is now his­tory, with the cream of Un­der 19 School rugby play­ers from the South­ern Lakes area now com­bin­ing to make this ground-break­ing side. Since then, it has been a jour­ney of co­op­er­a­tion which has re­sulted in this team be­ing se­lected and has ul­ti­mately given the best un­der 19 play­ers in the dis­trict the op­por­tu­nity to not only play to­gether as a team, but to ac­cept the chal­lenges in­volved with top level rugby and the highs and lows as­so­ci­ated with this.

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