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By NSW Waratahs Media unit
Over the course of this week, Camp Waratah has been bringing Rugby Union to the state of New South Wales in six different regions. Featuring hundreds of aspiring young players, the Camps are run in the school holidays by Development Officers from NSW Rugby and played host to a handful of NSW Waratahs cameos scattered between each location.
In the Sydney North camp alone, there were 95 participants ranging from U7’s through to U11’s, with both girls and boys making their mark in the younger age groups.
NSW Waratahs Assistant Coach Nathan Grey appreciates the importance of teaching the game to the grassroots.
“As NSW Waratah coaches and players, we want to pass the Waratah Way down to these young kids who aspire to wear the Sky Blue one day, and that is massive responsibility”, said Grey.
“It’s also something that we at the NSW Waratahs find really motivating and really important seeing young kids understanding what we want to do, how we are training and how we want to play the game”.
Aside from grooming the Super Rugby talent of the future, Grey’s satisfaction comes from seeing the younger generations enjoy playing the game he’s grown up with.
“Seeing the kids getting into it is awesome, and it’s incredibly rewarding being a part of that”, he said.
NSW Waratah forwards Sekope Kepu, Dave McDuling and Damien Fitzpatrick were the special guests at today’s camp.
For 2017 recruit McDuling, coming to Camp Waratah was somewhat of a homecoming.
“It’s great to see all these future Tahs out here in a strong rugby area in the north of Sydney”, said the NSW lock.
“Coming back to my old school and seeing so many young players choosing rugby in their school holidays is great for the health of the game.”
NSW Waratahs CEO Andrew Hore couldn’t stress the importance of strengthening the foundations of our talented youth.
“Camp Waratah is one of the initiatives that NSW Rugby Union and the Waratahs are rolling out to encourage youth participation”, he said.
“By going to several different locations from the bush to the beach, we are reaching out to all corners of the community to give as many young people the opportunity to participate in the game and get to meet the NSW Waratahs”.
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Shute Shield clubs will receive an injection of NSW Waratah players ahead of round 12 of the Sydney competition. At the same time that several of their New South Wales team mates pull on the Wallaby gold, the remaining available Waratahs will take to club land.