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By ARU Media Unit
The Armidale School Rugby Carnival is back again for another year, with one of the biggest Rugby carnivals in the country taking place this weekend at the Northern-NSW Private School. Almost 900 students aged between 11 and 12 years of age are set to descend on Armidale for two-days of Rugby!
Established in 1894, The Armidale School (TAS) is an Anglican, GPS, day and boarding school for boys with a tradition of academic, sporting and individual achievement. The Armidale School, or TAS as it is better known, is able to offer the opportunities of a safe country atmosphere (midway between Sydney and Brisbane) in the University City of Armidale.
Now entering its eighth season, the Armidale Rugby Carnival is again being spearheaded by TAS Sports Master, Jason Lincoln. Jason spoke with Rugby HQ and explained what the tournament is all about.
“We started the carnival in 2004 as a means of giving young rugby players the opportunity to tour and be part of a carnival experience – which is what we all love,” Lincoln said.
“We are thrilled to welcome back schools from all over the country.
“We have schools as far South as the Southern Highlands, as far West as the Western Plains and even all the way up North from the Sunshine Coast.”
Since 2005 the participation numbers have almost tripled with the carnival hosting over 40 schools this weekend, with the teams split among three Divisions – Blue, Red and Green.
Rugby nurseries St. Joseph’s Nudgee, Southport, Waverley College, St. Ignatius and St. Augustine’s Brookvale will all be in attendance in 2011, with the competition certain to set the 25,000 person town alight over the two days.
Carnival Convener, Jason Lincoln, said it was more than just a tournament for the whole town.
“It is a wonderful community event which pulls the whole town together,” Lincolnsaid.
“The whole town is a buzz.”
Previously attended by Qantas Wallabies coach Robbie Deans, the Armidale School Rugby Carnival has been one of the key carnivals that has promoted the game throughout the North West Development Area in recent years. It’s growth has coincided with Rugby recording participation numbers in recent seasons.
In 2010 a record 209,571 people played Rugby in 2010, which was an increase of 8.8% on the 2009 season.
With nearly 47,500 juniors registered in the game, tournaments like the Armidale Rugby Carnival are proving to be what just the players need.
Qantas Wallabies coach, Robbie Deans, attended the carnival in 2009 and said it was a fantastic advertisement for the game.
Rugby HQ will bring you a wrap of all the weekend’s action in next week’s edition.