The Australian Rugby Union today announced the launch of a new Non-Contact version of Rugby 7s to encourage more people to take up the game and capitalise on its profile as an Olympic sport.
The New South Wales Government will invest $100,000 in the ARU pilot of Non-Contact 7s that will be rolled out across five centres in regional New South Wales.
Whether you want to be the next Australian Sevens star like Cameron Clark or Emilee Cherry, represent the country at the Olympics, or simply want to have a throw-around with a few mates, non-contact Sevens caters for all.
Non-contact Sevens was created in response to research conducted by the Australian Sports Commission that highlighted a shift towards flexible, consumer-driven sport and recreation.
It is a fast-paced, safe and accessible version of Rugby Sevens that can be played by men and women and boys and girls of all ages, no matter the sporting background.
Non-contact Sevens also gives participants a safe, fun environment to have a high-intensity workout.
The ARU will roll out the new Non-Contact 7s in Dubbo, Orange, Bathurst, Tamworth and Coffs Harbour, with the inaugural season planned to kick-off from November 2014 running through to March 2015.
The investment made by the NSW Government will be spent on infrastructure, event administration, equipment and education and is part of a broader objective to increase participation in sport, recreation, arts and cultural activities in rural and regional NSW from 2010 to 2016 by 10 per cent.
Michael Doyle, Game Development and Operations Manager, Rugby Participations, NSW, said: "We are delighted to bring this new form of Non-Contact, social Rugby 7s to regional NSW. It is an exciting time for Rugby Sevens in Australia as the profile of the sport grows, but it is also critical that we capitalise on its increased popularity by making the game accessible to all.
"Australian Rugby has recognised that it is imperative to connect with regional areas. One example is this week’s Bush2Bledisloe Tour, which has seen the Qantas Wallabies squad prepare for the opening Bledisloe Cup Test against New Zealand by hosting open-training sessions for the public in Dubbo, Bathurst and Orange.
“Australian Rugby acknowledges that in order to expand Rugby participation in regional NSW, we need to continue to engage the local community all-year round. Through non-contact Sevens, it is attempting to do just that."
Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner said this new version of the all-inclusive Olympic game provides local regional communities the opportunity to engage in a high intensity, low impact community sport.
“The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is committed to increasing sporting and cultural opportunities in regional NSW,” Mr Stoner said.
“This new initiative broadens the reach of Rugby into sections of the community that would otherwise not play the sport.
“Once again regional NSW is at the forefront and at the centre of this Government’s decision making with non-contact Sevens to roll out first in Bathurst, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Orange and Tamworth.
“This is yet another example of the NSW Liberals & Nationals honouring our commitment to increase participation in sport, recreation, arts and cultural activities in regional and rural NSW by 10% by 2016,” Mr Stoner said.
Rugby Sevens is a game with seven players on each side playing seven minutes a half on a full-sized Rugby pitch. The sport is to be played at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio for the first time. The Non-Contact version of 7s can be played year-round and encourages fast running Rugby with a heavy focus on fitness.
The public can register their interest in taking part in Non-Contact 7s by visiting: http://www.rugby.com.au/sevens/NonContact
Q. What is non-contact Sevens?
Emphasis on flexible competition, fun, social and fitness as opposed to just win or loss
7 players on the field per team, mixed and single sex team options
7 touches allowed per set Allows continuity for the game, option to offload and kick
Lineouts incorporated in the game
A team could play two matches per night
Tell me more about the social aspect?
Research undertaken by the Australian Sports Commission revealed the main barrier behind adults (14-65 years) not taking part in sport was: “A lack of time due to other priorities (59%)”. This suggests that participants are now looking to engage in sport and recreation that fits around their busy schedule and which does not require long-term commitment.