National Rugby Week begins today with schools from right across Australia engaging in the new, fun, safe and fast-paced game of Non-Contact 7s (NC7s).
This week, 120,746 students will learn about Rugby’s values of integrity, respect, teamwork, discipline and passion through a range of innovative educational experiences on and off the field.
Nationally, this makes up 19% of schools and 5.6% of students in the country.
Today, two lucky Sydney schools, Lidcombe Public School and Dundas Public School will have the honour of hosting the Bledisloe Cup for the day as part of their Rugby activities.
A total of 726 schools will participate in National Rugby Week with the breakdown being 56% boys and 44% girls, providing a unique opportunity to attract a new legion of fans in the lead up to the 2014 Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship.
Registration numbers exceeded the original target of 543 schools by 34% and 77,000 participants by 56%, with students from all eight of Australia’s states and territories playing Rugby during the week.
Australian Rugby Union Chief Executive Officer, Bill Pulver, believes National Rugby Week is a great way to encourage young Australians to actively take part in the game.
“National Rugby Week will provide the ideal platform for young boys and girls to engage in Non-Contact 7s. It is an excellent initiative which will hopefully foster further growth for Rugby in Australia,” Pulver said.
“The timing is also a bonus as it prompts students to turn their attention to all things Rugby in the lead up to the 2014 Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship and the HSBC Sevens World Series which kicks off on the Gold Coast in October.
“The week-long program is designed to educate boys and girls on what Rugby is all about and encourage students to take up the high intensity, low impact sport of Non-Contact 7s.”
General Manager of Rugby Participation Andrew Larratt said National Rugby Week will provide local communities with an opportunity to show their support for Australian Rugby.
“It is a unique program with the goal of attracting students to Rugby and engaging them through specific resources for field, carnival and classroom participation.
“The week will allow schools to rally together and show their support for the Qantas Wallabies before they take on the All Blacks in Sydney this Saturday,” Larratt said.
Australian primary and secondary schools, regardless of their Rugby background, will learn about Non-Contacts 7s and the various playing opportunities in their area.
National Rugby Week replaces “Walla Rugby Week” and is scheduled to run annually in the lead up to the Bledisloe Cup opener in Sydney.