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By ARU Media Unit
The Australian Rugby Union has successfully hosted its first ever NAIDOC Cup Sevens Tournament with schools from across NSW and the Torres Strait Islands competing at Granville Park in Western Sydney on Tuesday.
The tournament included four age divisions and boasted high-level competition for boys and girls in a fast, entertaining display of running Rugby.
Qantas Men’s Sevens star Shannon Walker and captain of the girls Youth Olympic Sevens Squad Tiana Penitani were in attendance throughout the day.
ARU General Manager Rugby Participation Andrew Larratt said he was pleased with the success of the inaugural tournament.
“The fact that we had 12 teams competing in the competition’s inaugural year was a great sign of the growth of Sevens Rugby in our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities,” Mr Larratt said.
“Sevens is a fast growing Olympic sport that is ideal for young Indigenous athletes and we’re really looking forward to expanding the competition further in future years.”
The ARU’s Indigenous Participation Coordinator Jordan Goddard said the tournament provided Indigenous athletes with another pathway in Rugby.
“I’ve run Rugby events and activities in Darwin, Alice Springs and Thursday Island, but the first NAIDOC Cup will certainly be a highlight for me,” Mr Goddard said.
“What we hope to achieve at Australian Rugby is to enhance the lives of Indigenous Australians through Rugby.
“I know the kids really enjoyed and took a great deal from the day, and there is certainly a lot of goodwill to build on for future tournaments.”
Age division winners:
Under 17s - Hunter Sports High
Under 15s - Endeavour Sports High
Under 18s - Hunter Sports High
Under 15s - Hunter Sports High