Otago Daily Times

Otago reps on sec­ondary ad­vi­sory body

- STEVE HEP­BURN Education · Rugby · Rugby Union · Sports · Otago · Rugby Football Union · New Zealand · Christchurch · New Zealand Rugby Football Union · Otago Rugby Football Union · Davenport · Lancaster

THE chair­woman and deputy chair­man of the Otago Rugby Foot­ball Union have been ap­pointed to a new ad­vi­sory group to work on and de­vel­op­ing a new plan for the sport at sec­ondary school level.

Otago chair­woman Rowena Daven­port and deputy chair­man Garry Chron­i­can have both been ap­pointed to the nine­strong group.

Chron­i­can is also the chair­man of the New Zealand Schools Rugby Union.

The new group is chaired by Christchur­ch Boys’ High School head­mas­ter Nic Hill and will work along­side New Zealand Rugby to de­velop and ex­e­cute a sec­ondary school en­gage­ment strat­egy, fo­cused on re­tain­ing teenage par­tic­i­pants through­out their school years and be­yond.

NZR com­mu­nity rugby gen­eral manager Steve Lan­caster said coun­sel from this group will give a voice to stu­dents and schools, and pro­vide es­sen­tial knowl­edge that will be of ben­e­fit in the de­ci­sion­mak­ing process.

‘‘The nine mem­bers, who rep­re­sent rugby and sec­ondary schools in New Zealand, will pro­vide ad­vice to NZR on how to re­tain our ran­gi­tahi and bridge the gap be­tween sec­ondary schools and club rugby,’’ he said.

A full re­view of sec­ondary school rugby took place in 2017 and it showed a marked de­cline in teenagers play­ing the game and a con­cen­tra­tion of ta­lent within a few schools.

This strat­egy group has evolved from that re­view.

“We are ex­cited to have this group in place, as we have a num­ber of chal­lenges to ad­dress and the key to suc­cess will be in build­ing strong re­la­tion­ships with our sec­ondary schools; en­sur­ing their voice and that of their stu­dents is in the front of minds in the de­ci­sions we make,” Lan­caster said.

The group is set to have a meet­ing later this month and hope to have a plan evolved in about a year.

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