Flag league takes off
Porirua rugby league players Johnny Tealaga and Sheldon Akavi were on hand to offer advice to YMCA flag league kids at Cannons Creek Park recently.
The appearance of the two premier grade Vikings and Wellington Orcas players at the after-school flag games marked the formation of a partnership between Wellington Rugby League and YMCA Greater Wellington, to develop kids’ flag league skills and prepare them for ongoing involvement in the code.
‘‘ If kids can have an introduction to sport and physical activity with us at the YMCA and then we can provide them with a pathway to further participation through one of our partners like Wellington Rugby League, then we have done our job,’’ said Ben Keat, from YMCA Greater Wellington.
‘‘League is supporting the skills development side of flag league through their ‘Leadership through League’ Kiwisport programme. The Y’s expertise is in delivering the oppor- tunity for youngsters to get involved.’’
Wellington Rugby League general manager Jason Hemson said they were excited to be partnering with YMCA in Porirua.
This is the second year that YMCA has been running flag league in Porirua. It fields 23 teams involving about 250 keen youngsters aged between 8 and 11 years.
Games are played at Cannons Creek Park after school on Mondays and Tuesdays and involve the defensive team removing a flag from the belt of the ball carrier instead of tackling the player to the ground. The winner of the March 26 competition was Postgate School.
Greater Wellington YMCA also administers netball, basketball, miniball, handball, indoor soccer and unihockey from the YMCA office in Ngati Toa Hall. It also took over the running of school holiday programmes from the city council in the last year, and has developed dance and special needs programmes. Visit: ymca wellington.org.nz.