Sevens star encourages girls to pursue the sport

A GROUP of Illawarra schools last week participated in a Rugby Sevens Day - some for the first time - in the under-16s and 18s age groups and showed great skills.

The day was run by ARU development staff and the schools involved came from Nowra Anglican College, Kiama High School, Illawarra Sports High, Holy Spirit College and St Joseph's Catholic High School at Albion Park.

Playing at the traditional home of rugby sevens in the area, Kiama Showground, the girls were put through their paces by development staff and current Aussie sevens stars Nicole Beck and Emma Tonegato.

Beck, a World Cup sevens winner in 2009, spoke to all the girls about her background with touch football and soccer.

"The girls really appreciated our guidance today, and we all have been in the same environment, trying a new sport," she said.

"They showed some great skills and there were some very talented girls in both age groups that should continue with rugby sevens."

World travel, not to mention the prospect of an Olympic medal, has everyone excited.

With rugby sevens debuting in the 2016 Olympic Games, it has seen a surge in popularity.

Throughout Australia, the state unions are launching their Schoolgirls Representative Programs for 2014.

The Sevens Pathway to Gold seeks to provide access and training to all schoolgirl players, and in mid-July NSW are holding a weekly Youth Sevens Super Rugby competition.

Kiama High School took out the 18s competition.

They defeated a very good Holy Spirit squad, and Holy Spirit proved far too strong for the girls from Illawarra Sports High in the under 16s.

The Kiama tea, will now progress to the finals of the Combined High Schools statewide competition in August.

They will also contest the Hong Kong NSW Secondary School Under 18s Rugby Championships in September in Sydney.

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