Competition heats up for Commonwealth Youth Games

by staff

The Australian Youth Sevens Training Squads for the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games gathered at the Sydney Academy of Sport in Narrabeen over the weekend, with boys and girls enjoying a three-day selection camp.

The best 16-18 year olds Rugby Sevens players in the country took part in skills and drills, internal games and testing as competition heats up for selection.

The pre-assembly session marked the first of three camps, as the two squads look to build some combinations before they head to Samoa for the big event in September this year. Australia will send two squads of 12 to Samoa, as they look to bring home the first ever Gold Medal in Rugby Sevens at the event, a challenge Pathway Services Manager, Dale Roberson, is looking forward to tackling.

“There are some really talented boys and girls in the wider training squads and I’m looking forward to watching them grow in the next few months,” Roberson said.

“The opportunity to travel to Samoa for the Commonwealth Youth Games is an exciting prospect for these players, as they look to take the next step in their careers.”

Members of the training squads have come from all over Australia with boys and girls from New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, ACT, Northern Territory and Western Australia all vying for a gold jersey when the final squads are announced in August.

Roberson said that the overarching goal is to give these up-and-comers the opportunity to broaden their Rugby education, as Sevens continues to grow at a meteoric pace across the globe.

“I think these players are starting to see Sevens as an interesting pathway opportunity. They’re showcasing their potential for the game and with the sport now featuring in the Olympics, I think there is an added level of excitement.

“The goal is to continue to introduce new talent to the game of Sevens through our performance centre at Narrabeen, in a bid to grow the sport at a grassroots and professional level,” he said.

Players were identified from the recent National Sevens Championships, which saw nine boys’ teams and 10 girls’ teams compete in the annual tournament.

Talent Development Coordinator, Hugh Carpenter, has also been monitoring the progress of the squads and is impressed with the aptitude these young boys and girls have shown for the game.

“A lot of these players have the skills and footwork to make it to the next level in Sevens, it’s just a matter of increasing their awareness around certain aspects of the game.

“I think the players get quite a buzz from being down at Narrabeen around the current national setup, which will only help to fire them up as they push for a spot in the final 12.”

Australian Youth Boys Sevens Commonwealth Games Program

June 6-8 Youth Boys Camp 2 – Sydney Academy of Sport

July 4-8 Youth Boys Camp 3 – Sydney Academy of Sport

September 3-5 Pre Tournament Assembly Camp – Brisbane

September 5-13 Commonwealth Youth Games – Samoa

Australian Youth Girls Sevens Commonwealth Games Program

June 26-28 Youth Girls Camp 2 – Sydney Academy of Sport

July 31 – August 2 Youth Girls Camp 3 – Sydney Academy of Sport

September 3-5 Pre Tournament Assembly Camp – Brisbane

September 5-13 Commonwealth Youth Games – Samoa

The ARU’s Sevens talent development and national teams program is valuably supported by the Australian Commonwealth Games Association’s (ACGA) 2015 NextGEN AUSComGames Squad program – assisting the next generation of national Rugby Sevens stars to attend and achieve at the 2018 and 2022 Commonwealth Games.