A jolt from the Blue

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - Federal Politics - CLARISSA BYE

GIRLS’ footy is kick­ing goals, with a new no-tackle com­pe­ti­tion set to take the game to new heights.

Blue Tag — a vari­a­tion of the long­stand­ing Oz­tag — will run right through the year and 180 girls from 10 clubs across Syd­ney will show­case the mod­i­fied game at a com­pe­ti­tion at Nor­ford Park, in Sefton, south­west Syd­ney, to­mor­row.

Of­fi­cials hope Blue Tag will fur­ther in­crease the pop­u­lar­ity of women’s rugby league by of­fer­ing teenage girls the op­por­tu­nity to learn the fun­da­men­tals without any con­cerns about rough tack­les and scrums.

NSW and Aus­tralian rugby league player Kezie Apps, 27, played ju­nior rugby league for the Bega Roost­ers from the age of eight — but had to stop play­ing at 11 be­cause she was a girl.

She ended up tak­ing up the sum­mer sport of League Tag, sim­i­lar to Blue Tag but only played in the off sea­son.

“I fell back in love with it (rugby league) and ev­ery­thing about it,” Apps said. She said it helped her hone her skills be­fore she re­turned to full con­tact rugby league later on.

“All you re­ally need to do is prac­tice and train for tack­ling so it’s just awe­some that boys and girls have this op­por­tu­nity to play rugby league without the con­tact,” Apps said.

Mona Ghassa, 14, said she en­joyed Blue Tag be­cause it’s played on a full field and “you can kick”.

“It’s got more peo­ple, it’s closer to ac­tu­ally play­ing rugby league,” she said.

And Teah Hask­ins, 14, said it was an op­por­tu­nity to make new friends and en­joy play­ing. “It’s just more fun,” Teah said.

Skye Har­ri­gan, Emily Dunne, Holly Lewis, NSW star Kezie Apps and Mona Ghassa. Pic­ture: Justin Lloyd

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