Chairman’s Blog – Season Welcome

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2017 is shaping up as a fantastic season of rugby on all fronts, with the Seniors, Juniors, Women’s, 7s and Representative season all set to attract the masses to the game they play in heaven.

We’ll see all the great benefits of rugby on show during our senior rugby season with the ethos of country rugby on show again. While Noosa, Caloundra, Maroochydore, Nambour and University will battle it out in A Grade, we’ll see the addition of Maleny into the Reserve Grade competition to make up 8 teams of enthusiastic (mostly) young men enjoying a game with their mates on a Saturday afternoon. If you are yet to get along and watch our great country rugby on a Saturday afternoon, then pencil in some time. It’s a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

On Friday nights we welcome back our U19 Colts competition, which will see the continued growth of Brothers who are sure to be a powerhouse of Sunshine Coast Rugby in the years to come. They will be joined by Noosa, University and Caloundra, plus Gympie are working really hard to put a team together. Congratulations to those clubs on all their work and let’s make our Friday night rugby lots of fun for these fine young men.

Sunshine Coast Rugby also hosts the South Queensland Open & U19 Country Championships this year from 19 May to 21 May. These games lead to SQ Country selection and then to Qld Country selection, with the Opens going on to play the annual clash against NSW Country and the U19s leading into the Australian U20 Championships the following year. The Sunshine Coast has a wonderful history with Qld Country rugby and the U19s have become an excellent pathway into higher honours and talent identification by both the ARU and the Super Rugby franchises.

The growth of Women’s Rugby in recent years has been quite phenomenal and on the back of the Women’s Gold at the Olympics the ARU estimates that by 2026 that 40% of the participation in rugby in Australia will be women and girls. We’re set for a new experience in 2017 with the Women’s 12-a-side comp to be played after the A-Grade each weekend from April to June. Then the Schoolgirls 7s competitions in Term 2 with U14, U16 & U18 grades. Plus, we’ll see the continued success of the Women’s 7s in September and October.

We expect the junior numbers to continue to grow in 2017 and plenty of smiling faces around the coast on a Saturday morning. We are extending the Walla Rugby into a mini-tournament format each weekend with teams in this age group now playing multiple games all at the one venue. Simply more fun for the boys, girls and parents. We’ll also see stand-alone competitions in the U16s and U17s commencing towards to end of the school competition.

The QRU Junior State Championships will also be a pathway for our aspiring U12s, U13s, U14s & U16s, with the U15s and U18s having the schoolboys pathway to focus on. The U15s will be heading to Townsville this year and the Open Schoolboys to Sunnybank. The SCRU is also considering an U17 Country Tour to continue the development of this age group and to give these boys some exposure to the joys of country rugby.

Ian Brown
Chairman
Sunshine Coast Rugby Union Inc
E: chairman@scru.com.au

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