Waitaki Girls’ High School students Bridget Crabbe and Katana Perkins are beneficiaries of the North Otago Rugby Scholarship.
The scholarship is to financially assist up and coming rugby players at Waitaki Girls’ High that show aptitude for the game.
North Otago Rugby Union ceo Colin Jackson said the union is intent on growing interest in women’s rugby and ensure aspiring players are receiving the correct advice and guidance.
“The North Otago Rugby Union is firmly focused on developing women’s rugby in our province,” he said.
“Starting in 2015, our high school girls will have the opportunity to transition into a senior North Otago women’s team which will play in the Dunedin competition. A further initiative is that the high school girls are now receiving weight training advice at the North Otago rugby gym under the tutelage of Jason Forrest and Lemi Masoe”.
Waitaki Girls’ First XV co-coach Ray Sinnamon reflected on Perkins’ impressive season and insisted the 15-year-old plays an integral role in the team and has developed a high understanding of the game.
“Katana is a natural athlete,” he said.
“She has a great set of skills, and a good understanding of the game of rugby.
“In only her second year she has become one of the teams main players, and much of the planning for games is based on her and others’ skill set. Along with her skills, Katana has a great attitude and sense of commitment towards the team and playing for her school.”
Sinnamon praised Crabbe’s work ethic and dedication to the sport.
“Bridget displays all that a coach wants in their players, great attitude, commitment, and a real desire, to do the best for her team.
“She has great skills and like Katana she has good vision and awareness of different situations in a game.
“Bridget always gives everything in the game and as coaches we know she gives 100 per cent every time. Bridget, if she keeps up with the commitment and passion she has already shown for the game has the ability to go a long way in her rugby. “
North Otago Women’s Rugby coordinator Jessie Waite, who is in the process of creating a team to compete in the Dunedin women’s competition next season, said the scholarship will help the girls’ progression hugely.
“Not only does it take time to develop rugby skills, it can cost players money – so financial assistance like this scholarship that the North Otago Rugby Union offers will assist in these players taking the next step with their rugby,” she said.
“With North Otago being represented in next year’s women’s competition in Dunedin, our local players now have that next step clear in sight and anything that can make progression through the grades easier, can only benefit not only the players, but the sport.”
By JAMES FORD
PHOTO: SUPPLIED – First five-eighth Bridget Crabbe and flanker Katana Perkins.