The Junior League competition kicked off properly last Sunday across Northland, with growth in most grades. It was a big day at Lindvart Park in Kaikohe with the Joint venture clubs of Otaua Valleys – Tautoro Titans having a celebration day to unveil their new playing stripe.
The day was a real celebration of a community Rugby League spirit, with all the Mid to Far North clubs turning up on mass. Games were played on an immaculately presented Lindvart Park, where the 7s, 9s and 11s played. Across the road at Northland College the 13s, 15s and 18s played with Northern Wairoa Bulls and the Otangarei Knights 15s making the trip up to join the festivities.
Down at the Bluegoose in Whangarei, it was also another big day of league with 38 team – close to 500 kids all playing at one venue. Rugby League at youth level in Northland has come a long way. Four years ago there was no structured kids competition and yesterday we had 57 teams playing, with close to 1,000 kids participating across the North and South competitions.
Our Clubs are working together to develop and present league as one united community and the results are playing off. Most clubs have a full complement of Minis and Mod Teams – and the International grades are growing too, we have 12 teams across Northland in the 13s; 8 teams in the 15s; and 5 teams in the 18s. Within the next couple of weeks we hope to have another 18s team join the competition.