Touch players touch down in Australia
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.