School sports played close to home

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Aparima College rugby player Aiden Turner takes off during the schoolÂ’s game against Cromwell at the under15 Otago/Southland Secondary Schools tournament at Pirates/Old Boys Rugby Club in Invercargill yesterday. Aparima College beat Cromwell College 61-12.
Columba College goal defence Kate Goodeve looks for options while Southland Girls’ High School (SGHS) goal attack Trinity Richardson-Dann gains her balance while defending during the Otago/Southland Secondary Schools Netball Tournament at ILT Stadium Southland in Invercargill on Monday. SGHS won the game 28-27. SGHS went on to play Columba Collegiate School from Dunedin in the final, losing 32-20.

THOUSANDS of sports players descended in the south this week for the Secondary Schools’ Winter Tournament week.

Cyclists, netballers, footballers, rugby, badminton and basketball players headed to Invercargill to compete in their respective sports.

Southland Secondary Schools sports director Fiona Ward said despite many national and North Island events being cancelled in lockdown by national sports bodies, the organisation had worked with other South Island regional sports directors and sports to create events to replace what typically happened during tournament week.

It meant the tournaments could be held safely, despite being still at Alert Level 2, giving a boost to the local economy, she said.

“Most events have become Otago/Southland events with a few still being South Island events.

“Southland schools have fully supported the opportunities with probably more schools engaging than normal due to less travel and expense because of events being mainly here or in Otago.”

The Otago/Southland senior netball tournament was an example with every Southland school (apart from Southland Boys’ High School) entering teams. The tournament had 31 teams from Otago and Southland competing.

“Our motivation has been we do not want to see students miss out on the tournament experience.

“Many have already missed out on a lot of sporting opportunities this year, so we wanted to ensure they get the opportunity to still compete especially for senior students in their last year at school.”

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