Ella Innes (left) attacking for Wairarapa College against Onslow College. PHOTO/JAKE BELESKI
The Wairarapa College Sports Foundation’s annual tournament continues to grow as teams from different parts of the country arrive in Masterton to compete in various codes.
Last week it was the boys’ turn, but this week the girls take centre stage as they compete in football, hockey and netball.
The two-day tournament involves Wairarapa College and St Matthew’s Collegiate, with others coming from far and wide to take part.
St Margaret’s College in Christchurch is a regular participant, while a host of Wellington-based schools also use the tournament as preparation for their upcoming winter seasons.
The football and hockey started on Tuesday and continued Wednesday, with netball also starting Wednesday.
Playoffs were held Wednesday afternoon to determine the winners.
Tournament director Lea Griffith said the sports foundation had worked hard to make the event a success.
“This is our fourth tournament – we work under the Wairarapa College umbrella but we are our own entity.
“We were set up four years ago as a charitable trust and our main fundraiser for the foundation is this tournament.”
They do not always receive enough entries to go ahead with all their planned events, but the growing number of schools taking part meant that may not be the case for much longer.
Competing with other events and staging it during the school holidays were other factors that made it hard for some schools to attend, she said.
“We don’t always fill the codes.
“We’ve never got to the point where we’ve slam dunked the whole thing, but it’s growing.
“We’ve tweaked it a little bit and have got everything going for the girls this time.”
Hockey was the most popular of the codes for visiting schools, and some schools had made it their mission to return year after year.
“We do have repeat offenders as such who love it . . . St Margaret’s College from Christchurch come up to play hockey, and they’ve been involved for every year except one.”
“Quite a few Wellington schools come up, and Feilding High School have supported us really well.
“This year a newbie is Taradale High School – they’ve been incredibly supportive because they had boys’ and girls’ hockey teams, as well as a netball team coming down.”
The tournament was seen as an opportunity to fine-tune things before the full seasons begin, and that was how they would sell it to other schools who might be thinking about attending.
“The main purpose behind it is that it’s an opportunity to finish it off as a trial process or use it as a team building exercise.
“They are not playing the best of their sport now, but everybody is in the same boat.”