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Development camps kick-off for region’s top young female rugby players

Young female rugby players develop their potential during a skills session at the development camp at Lindisfarne College yesterday.

Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union’s (HBRU’s) annual player development camps kicked-off yesterday, with 30 of Hawke’s Bay’s best under-18 girls’ rugby players gathering at Lindisfarne College for three days of intense training.

The girls’ development camp taking place these school holidays is one of four sponsored by Unison. The other three camps will also give the region’s most promising boys under-14, under-16 and under-18 the opportunity to develop their rugby skills further.

Following the camps, Hawke’s Bay representative sides from each of the four camps will be selected to play in the Hurricanes regional tournaments in October.  

HBRU Women’s Rugby Development Officer, Krysten Cottrell is leading the girls’ camp alongside former Magpies captain, Super Rugby player and HBRU Academy Manager, Jason Shoemark, and said she is excited about developing the young players’ skills to help strengthen the women’s game in the region.

“These girls have been selected not only due to their potential to grow as players, they also have a strong passion for the sport, which will no doubt see them become ambassadors to help encourage participation in the game.

“The camps give participants the opportunity to further develop their skills and experience the sort of support that professional players receive.

“They’ve got access to some of the region’s top coaches and players, including current Magpies, Ellery Wilson, Mason Emerson and Jason Long. We have trainers, nutritionists and mental skills coaches on board,” Mrs Cottrell said. 

Unison Group Chief Executive, Ken Sutherland, said Unison is pleased to support junior rugby and the development camps in Hawke’s Bay for the tenth consecutive year.

“Unison’s partnership with HBRU is this year targeted towards developing women’s rugby in Hawke’s Bay, and these camps are well positioned to help achieve this.

“We look forward to seeing the young girls who come through these camps achieve their potential, just like players such as Jonah Lowe – who was a Unison medal recipient as a junior – and Under 20 World Champion, Tiaan Falcon, have done in previous years,” Mr Sutherland said.

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