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By ARU Media Unit
The NSW Schoolgirls Rugby Sevens Squad to compete at this year’s first-ever National Schoolgirls Rugby Sevens Championships has been named.
2012 is the inaugural year for the National Schoolgirls Rugby Sevens Championships and will take place on the Gold Coast on Saturday 13 October at The Southport School.
Twenty-four girls have been selected to represent NSW. The girls will form two NSW teams to compete for the national title at the 2012 National Championships against six other teams, including QLD 1 and 2, ACT, WA, SA and NT.
The selection came after fifty girls were identified and invited to attend the NSW selection day held at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence in Redfern. The squad will undertake Rugby Sevens specific training in preparation for the National Schoolgirl Sevens Championships.
All girls under seventeen years of age at the Championships will be viewed for selection into the National Youth Women’s Sevens program. An Australian Under 18 Women’s Sevens team will also be selected in mid-November to compete at the 2013 Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney.
The Championships are a key component of ARU’s Pathway to Gold program, which also incorporates the National Schoolboy Rugby Sevens Championships.
Managed and coached by ARU High Performance coaching staff, the program includes national camps at the AIS in Canberra, providing the opportunity to train alongside the Qantas Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams.
The Pathway to Gold program aims to expose talented boys and girls to high levels of Rugby Sevens training and competition with the ultimate outcome being selection for the national Sevens teams at the 2016 Olympic Games.
As part of this program, trials are being held across Australia to help find talent for the Women’s Sevens squad with a chance to go all the way to a gold medal at the 2016 Olympics. More information on the Pathway to Gold trials can be found here.
The National Schoolgirls Rugby Sevens Championships are an important part of the national high performance player pathway for women, providing young female players with a greater chance to play at the elite level.
ARU Sevens and Women’s Rugby Program Manager, Dale Roberson said the new National Schoolgirls Champions is a great initiative that will foster women’s participation in Rugby from the grassroots through to the elite.
“With the inclusion of both Men’s and Women’s Rugby Sevens at the next Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 the Championships provide young players with an additional opportunity to showcase their talents on the big stage,” Mr Roberson said.
“I’m looking forward to seeing these Championships take shape and develop into one of the key pathways for our young female athletes.”
The full list of the selected NSW Schoolgirl Sevens Squad is below.