Bridging the gap . . . Looking forward to the Network Waitaki kids fun day are Heartland players (from back left) Josh Phipps, Josh Robertson› Weepu, Tyron Davies and JAB players (from front left) Angus Isbister (12), Carter Forrest (6), Hunter Forrest (8) and Hamish Isbister (9). PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

North Otago is finishing the JAB season off with a bang by holding the Network Waitaki kids’ fun day at Centennial Park.

Heartland rugby players will be involved in tomorrow’s JAB games, watching and cheering on the teams and aspiring young players from the sidelines.

Heartland coach Jason Forrest said it was an exciting opportunity to bridge the gap between JAB and representative rugby.

‘‘Our Heartland boys will be out and about. They’ll be cooking the barbecue, they’ll be out and about watching the kids play some footy . . . and taking photos with the kids floating around,’’ Forrest said.

Forrest, who is also North Otago Rugby’s development officer, said the day was about showing JAB players a pathway, and what a ‘‘future’’ might look like for them in North Otago Rugby.

‘‘It’s a really big day out at the park.

‘‘It’s community›based and that’s what we’re about.’’

JAB games will get under way at 10am and be finished by about noon. Children will then be given a sausage and drink, and Forrest hoped they would ‘‘stick around’’ to watch the North Otago development and Heartland sides’ pre-season matches.

North Otago development will play its first Hanan Shield match against South Canterbury at Whitestone Contracting Stadium at 12.30pm. The Old Golds will then play Otago Country in its final pre-season match at 2.30pm.

‘‘[It’s] really cool to be home, back in front of our people,’’ Forrest said.

He was grateful to Network Waitaki for its support of JAB and rugby in North Otago.