Flag league takes off

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT -

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.

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