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World Cup winning Black Ferns to attend Unison Girls’ Rugby Gala Day

Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union Women’s Rugby Development Officer, Krysten Cottrell gives participants tips during a skills session at the 2018 Girls’ Rugby Gala Day.

Budding women’s rugby players will have the opportunity to meet Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 Champion Black Ferns while honing their skills at the Unison Girls’ Rugby Gala Day, which aims to encourage more female participation in our national game.

Off the back of a successful inaugural Gala Day last year, over 370 female rugby players from Primary, Intermediate and Secondary Schools across Hawke’s Bay will take to the field at Hawke’s Bay Regional Sports Park on Thursday 4 April. This number triples participation in last year’s tournament.

Taking part in age-based Rippa or Sevens tournaments, players will also be able to view the Women’s Rugby World Cup and meet 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup Champion Black Ferns, Marcelle Parkes and Jackie Patea-Fereti. Parkes and Patea-Fereti will referee a match, hand out prizes and be available to speak to young players at an official signing session and throughout the day.

Unison Group Chief Executive, Ken Sutherland said Unison is proud to support the growth and development of rising female rugby players in the region.

“Unison’s partnership with Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union – through our Greatest Supporter Programme – is again targeted towards developing women’s rugby to strengthen the game in Hawke’s Bay. The Gala Day is a great recruitment tool to bring current and aspiring female rugby players together to encourage participation and develop talent.

“It’s also a great opportunity for us to deliver electrical safety messages to our young people and educate them on how to stay safe around Unison’s network,” said Mr Sutherland.  

Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union Women’s Rugby Development Officer, Krysten Cottrell said the Gala Day will provide girls with the opportunity to give rugby a go in a supportive environment and demonstrate how far the game can take them.

“Our region is full of talent and this event will allow current and prospective female rugby players to improve their skills and knowledge of the game, while exploring what opportunities are available for them to develop within the sport. Having the Black Ferns in attendance will help prove to these young players what they can achieve through dedication and hard work.

“The record-breaking Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 held in Ireland set new standards for the tournament and extended the reach of the game around the world. The Gala Day is a fantastic opportunity for young players to meet Black Ferns who were part of this Champion team, helping to build support and excitement in the lead up to the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021, which will be held here in New Zealand,” said Mrs Cottrell. 

The Unison Girls’ Rugby Gala Day will run from 9.30am – 2.30pm and comprises six aged-based tournaments:

• Year 3-4 Rippa
• Year 5-6 Rippa
• Year 4-6 Sevens
• Intermediate Sevens
• Under 15 Sevens
• Under 18 Sevens

For more information, see the Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union website: https://www.sporty.co.nz/hbrugby/Womens-Rugby/Gala-Day


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