Brisbane Catholic Education Primary Schools Sevens kick-off in Brisbane West

Wed, Jun 8, 2022, 10:21 AM
Reds Media Unit
by Reds Media Unit
BCE Executive Director Dr Sally Towns with St Mary's Primary School, Ipswich students PHOTO: BCE
BCE Executive Director Dr Sally Towns with St Mary's Primary School, Ipswich students PHOTO: BCE

Queensland Rugby Union (QRU), in partnership with Brisbane Catholic Education, has today launched the first of four Primary Schools Sevens tournaments, which will see students across Brisbane and the Gold Coast introduced to Rugby over the next five weeks.

More than 1600 players from across 42 different schools will compete across Sevens tournaments in Brisbane West, Brisbane South, Brisbane North and Gold Coast, with two ages divisions – U10s and U12s – catered for.

Kenmore Rugby Club played host to the Brisbane West tournament today, before the Brisbane South event takes place next week on Wednesday, 15 June, at Sunnybank Rugby Club.

St Mary’s Ipswich, who have been involved in the tournament since it’s inception, were the standout school on the day, taking out the U10 Girls, U12’s Girls and U10 boys, while their U12 boys finished as runners up to St Bernadine’s.

Matt Smit, one of the teachers from St Mary’s said: “The school loves it, it’s a great opportunity for our students to get out and experience what Rugby is all about.

“It provides kids who might not normally get the chance to play Rugby with the chance to run out alongside their mates and play some Sevens Rugby.

“Sevens is a awesome way to get kids involved, there is a lot more space and the contact isn’t as heavy as XVs so we see students from other sports coming across and giving Rugby a go.

“With our long involvement with these tournaments as a school, we’re now seeing our girls in particular continue playing Rugby as they move into high school and hopefully we’ll see them start to turn out for senior Rugby clubs in Brisbane and Ipswich in the near future.”

Today QRU, in partnership with Brisbane Catholic Education, hosted the first Brisbane Catholic Education Primary Schools...

Posted by Queensland Rugby on Wednesday, June 8, 2022

The Brisbane North tournament will be played at GPS Rugby Club on Wednesday, 22 June and then the Gold Coast event at Surfers Paradise Rugby Club on Wednesday, 13 July.

QRU’s State Development Manager Grant Dwyer said: “It's fantastic to see the Brisbane Catholic Primary Schools showing such enthusiasm for Sevens Rugby in preparation for the tournament's return in 2022.

“Brisbane Catholic Education have been excellent partners to work with over the last two years, in particular Dr Sally Towns (Director BCE) and Mr Greg Casey from Brisbane Catholic Education. In addition the four regional BCE coordinators Gavin Minz, Nick Fogerty, Dan Hodge and John Cameron.

“After an unfortunate break in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, the event returned last year with great success. With the substantially high participation from primary schools around the wider Brisbane metro area, we were able to bring back the fast-paced competition to the state again in 2022.

"It’s an amazing time for young people to learn and participate in rugby, these kids from the BCE are at the age where they could have the opportunity over the next couple years to be in the line-up for the Australia Rugby world cup in 2027 and possibly the Olympics in 2032.

“These tournaments provide a great opportunity to introduce primary school students to Rugby in a fun and guided environment. Our goal is to see players pursue the sport and progress to regular club rugby or High School rugby with many BJRU (Brisbane Junior Rugby Union) clubs offering fantastic opportunities for all families to join fun, safe, and inclusive clubs,” said Dwyer.

BCE School Operations and Programs Lead, Greg Casey, said the carnival encourages participation in professional sporting experiences for primary-aged children in Catholic schools.

“Over the years we’ve even seen Catholic school students go on to play in the Wallabies team and who knows, these experiences may spark the beginning of another journey to the gold jumper," said Casey.

“Not only is it a great way for BCE students to get together and have some fun with their friends, but the event also promotes being active, healthy growth and development, team skills and our students’ overall emotional wellbeing.

“Our students and schools connect with others from across our system to access an experience of sport and wellbeing which is unique to BCE schools.

“Every year they show off their amazing spirit in our community of schools.

“The carnivals have also been great community builders as we’ve had large numbers of parents and grandparents come along to cheer their children on.

“Over the past few year’s students have missed out on so much due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and these carnivals have provided them the opportunity to come out and wear their school colours with pride and show off their talents.

“I’d like to thank Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) for their ongoing support of our schools and these competitions again this year.

“The tremendous support from their State Development Manager as well as their Regional Rugby Managers has meant that we can hold these days which are focussed on maximum participation, plus skill, and team building, all in a great spirit that typifies the Rugby Union family.

“QRU have qualified referees and First Aid staff on hand to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the children as well, which is really important.”

Best of luck to all teams who will be participating and many thanks to those who have provided the venue for the four days – GPS Rugby Club, Sunnybank Rugby Club, Surfer’s Paradise Rugby Club and Kenmore Junior Rugby Union Club.