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By ARU Media Unit
The 2013 National Indigenous Under 18s Championship will kick-off this Sunday at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) in Redfern with four teams from around Australia competing in a round robin format across two days.
An initiative of the Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team (LMRDT), the two day Championship aims to expose athletes from across the country to both Rugby and life skills; as LMRDT continues to build the profile of Rugby among Indigenous youth.
As well as competing on the Rugby field all 88 players will partake in a number of education initiatives including, Illicit Drugs in Sport, Nutrition and Coaching.
Funded by the Federal Government through the Office of Sport the Illicit Drugs in Sport session will provide the young players with education and support to help them make the right choices when it comes to illicit drugs.
ARU’s High Performance Unit will deliver a seminar on nutrition to support and maximise performance as well as provide information on the latest Strength and Conditioning insights.
Executive Officer of LMRDT, Tom Evans, said the two day Championship would provide the young Indigenous athletes with more than just a weekend of Rugby.
“The Championship offers the boys an opportunity to access the national Rugby pathway, receive important education and form life-long friendships,” Mr Evans said.
“At all of the tournaments the Lloyd McDermott Team run we try to ensure the Rugby is complemented by education.
“This year the boys will learn some important lessons about illicit drugs and nutrition as well as get the chance to secure their ‘Coaching Kids Rugby’ qualifications.
“All of the players and coaches will take part in a modified course, which once completed will allow them to coach 6-12 year olds.”
One of the new additions to the 2013 Championship schedule is the introduction of the Health Assessment pilot scheme.
Five Doctors and Health Workers from the Murri Health Organisation in Queensland will be attending the Championship and undertaking health assessments on all of the Queensland players.
“The Health Assessment pilot scheme is something that we are very excited about,” Mr Evans said.
“This year we’ll only be trialling the assessments with one team, however it is something that we would like to roll out for every player from every team in our underage competitions moving forward.”
The Championship will kick-off on Sunday at Midday when Combined States meet Queensland, which will be followed by NSW v Northern Territory.
Players who have been selected to play in the Championship have all been required to adhere to the strict school attendance policies.
“Since the LMRDT began operating all of our U16 and U18 players have only been able to be selected if they achieve an 85% or better attendance rate at school,” Mr Evans said.
“This attendance rate was in line with the Commonwealth Government’s No School, No Play program.
“While this program no longer exists LMRDT has continued to enforce the requirements that players who want to represent their state and play in the Championship need to ensure they’re meeting the attendance requirements at school.
“We are very clear with all the players, if they don’t meet the 85% attendance rate then they cannot be part of the Lloydies program.”
The National Indigenous U18 Championship draw and team lists are below.
MATCH DAY 1
Kick Off Time
Combined States v Queensland
New South Wales v Northern Territory
New South Wales v Combined States
Northern Territory v Queensland
MATCH DAY 2
Northern Territory v Combined States
New South Wales v Queensland
The LMRDT is proudly supported by the Australian Federal Government through the Indigenous Sport and Active Recreation Program and the Illicit Drugs in Sport Program.