Touch play­ers touch down in Aus­tralia

South Waikato News - - Your Local News - LUKE KIRKEBY

Toko­roa’s sports fields will be a lit­tle qui­eter now that a team of Toko­roa High School touch play­ers have headed to Aus­tralia.

The school has sent a mixed team of play­ers, age 13-17, to the All Schools Touch com­pe­ti­tion be­ing held un­til Oc­to­ber 12 in Bris­bane.

Man­ager Beau Ta­hau said over 350 teams will be com­pet­ing from through­out New Zealand and Aus­tralia.

‘‘We are a new de­vel­op­ment team so we are just look­ing at us­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence to de­velop for the New Zealand na­tion­als which are held in De­cem­ber,’’ he said.

‘‘Some are ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers and some have just been brought in this year to de­velop over the next three years in our de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme so this is about get­ting out there and pro­vid­ing an op­por­tu­nity for our stu­dents to show­case the tal­ent of Toko­roa to the world.’’

Ta­hau said the school last sent a team to the com­pe­ti­tion in 2013.

‘‘We play a to­tal of eight games and then there is the fi­nal where we could play an­other three,’’ he said.

‘‘We are not look­ing to win but we have been do­ing a lot of train­ing two times a week with a coach.’’

‘‘A lot of it is fit­ness train­ing, which we are try­ing to fo­cus on and then the skill level will hope­fully come later.’’

‘‘We have had to men­tally pre­pare them for it too as Aus­tralia is an­other level. They have won some of the big­gest cham­pi­onships against New Zealand so our kids they need that men­tal fo­cus and they have re­sponded ex­cel­lently,’’ he said.

He said the team has been build­ing up to­ward the trip for over a year.

‘‘Heaps of fundrais­ing events have had to hap­pen and there was re­ally good com­mu­nity sup­port,’’ he said.

‘‘We had a big fundraiser which brought in about $10,000 with prizes such as flights for two to Aus­tralia, an iphone 7, UE Boom, Plays­ta­tion 4, LED tele­vi­sion.’’

‘‘We man­aged to make about $6000 in profit so if it wasn’t for the com­mu­nity we wouldn’t get there,’’ he said.

Ta­hau said seven of the play­ers will also be trav­el­ling abroad for the first time.

‘‘A lot of these kids haven’t ac­tu­ally been over­seas so it will show them what the world has to of­fer,’’ he said.

Toko­roa High School touch team.

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