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Kuranui football continues to grow

Lincoln Williams in action for Kuranui College. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

By Jake Beleski

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The number of Kuranui College students playing football has grown so rapidly in recent years that the school has had to put in an additional football pitch.

The boys’ first XI team won the Wairarapa secondary schools trophy in 2014 and 2015, before losing in the final last year.

They are unbeaten through their first four matches of this season, and coach Wayne Brasell said they were determined to win the competition again.

“It’s definitely a goal to take the title.

“I’ve been with the school for six years, and this could be my last, so it would be a nice way to finish.”

The support of the community and school had been vital to keep promoting the sport in the region, he said.

“Kuranui has been providing us with solid support over recent seasons and that’s been reflected in the results on the field and the number of students now playing the game.

“There’s a good bunch of parents and college staff involved in setting the direction of all sports codes at the college so I know that football will keep improving.”

Kuranui is fielding three boys’ teams and two girls’ teams for the 2017 season, with the first XI girls’ team also making an early statement with their strong form.

The growth of the sport at the school is reflected in Capital Football reporting a steady rise in junior playing numbers in the Wellington/Wairarapa region over the last three years.

In 2015, there were 6607 junior players registered, and in 2016 that number grew to 6802.

Kuranui will head to the New Zealand secondary schools football tournament for the first time in September, and Brasell said it had been a dream to get the boys to that tournament.

“The boys have a fantastic team spirit and enjoy being together.

“I know they can’t wait to get away and challenge themselves on the pitch against what will be some very tough college sides from around the country.”

Assistant coach Minty Hunter said there had been a “huge push” to raise the profile and success of sport at the school, with a committee being formed last year and regular meetings occurring.

“As the liaising Kuranui board of trustees member, I’m ecstatic with the progress and the efforts coming from our community.

“Numbers continue to grow, reflected in the three boys’ teams being oversubscribed, our first year with two women’s teams, and now having two fields set up for football to cope with demand.”

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