Su­per in­ter­est to ex­pand school cup

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - SPORT - CON­NOR O’BRIEN @obrien_GCB

PLANS are in place to dou­ble the size of the Gold Coast Dis­trict Rugby Su­per Schools Cup in 2020 on the back of in­ter­est shown in the up­com­ing in­au­gu­ral edi­tion.

Six schools will con­test the un­der-15 com­pe­ti­tion in term one next year, com­pris­ing Mary­mount Col­lege, Var­sity Col­lege, Mi­ami High, Mer­ri­mac High, Helensvale High and Ormeau Woods High.

Com­pe­ti­tion con­vener Rob En­right con­firmed ex­pan­sion was likely.

“Our plan is to dou­ble the size of the com­pe­ti­tion in 2020,” he said.

“It’s pretty big to grow the com­pe­ti­tion by 100 per cent but that’s our am­bi­tion.

“If not in 2020, def­i­nitely the year be­yond that.

“We might have a bridg­ing model in be­tween but we def­i­nitely think there is enough in­ter­est there.

“It’s a re­ally well-struc­tured and funded com­pe­ti­tion. There has been al­ready a lot of in­ter­est, so it should be rea­son­ably easy to con­vert that to ex­pand in the next year.”

That plan would see 12 teams split into north and south di­vi­sions, with a cross­over fi­nal to de­ter­mine an over­all win­ner to chal­lenge

for the statewide Bal­ly­more Cup.

The Su­per Schools Cup has been iden­ti­fied as a crit­i­cal av­enue to rein­vig­o­rat­ing

com­pe­ti­tion in older junior age lev­els.

Each school will have a link to a Gold Coast club, with Bond Pi­rates sup­port­ing Mary­mount, Var­sity and Mi­ami, Surfers Par­adise work­ing with Mer­ri­mac, Yatala part­ner­ing with Ormeau Woods and the Hogs con­nect­ing with Helensvale.

“It’s just a re­ally ex­cit­ing ini­tia­tive be­tween clubs and schools, which is un­prece­dented for the Gold Coast and in my un­der­stand­ing any­where across the state in our sport,” En­right said.

“I think a model like that

re­ally talks to par­tic­i­pa­tion, which is some­thing the game has strug­gled a bit with in re­cent times, so hope­fully it gets a good up­take from stu­dents in schools and we’re able to fun­nel them through to clubs on the Gold Coast.

“We’re of­fer­ing ev­ery stu­dent that par­tic­i­pates a $20 dis­count to their club rugby reg­is­tra­tion fees, so we will hope­fully con­vert a few stu­dents that way as well.”

The cup is be­ing sup­ported by Gil­bert Rugby, which will sup­ply foot­balls, equip­ment and ap­parel for the next three years.

IT’S A RE­ALLY WELL-STRUC­TURED AND FUNDED COM­PE­TI­TION

ROB EN­RIGHT

Pic­ture: JA­SON O’BRIEN

Tommy Beck (Helensvale), Brock Len­nox (Mer­ri­mac), Jarvis Kal­tenbach (Mary­mount), Harry McNa­mara (Ormeau) and Ewan Cook (Mi­ami).

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