NEW GLASGOW – The excitement on the field by North Nova’s rugby teams extends throughout the school according to athletic director Shane Hampton.
This weekend they will welcome 10 teams for both the boys and girls NSSAF provincial rugby championships, one of the largest tournaments of the year. In most sports the boys and girls events are held separately, but for rugby both are in the same location.
“It’s exciting for the kids to have the eyes of the province on our teams and our school,” said Hampton about being the host school. “Their families are able to come with provincials being here, where if they were on the road there might be some that could, but not as many.”
Hampton said he couldn’t rank rugby’s popularity as a sport at North Nova, but believes it’s one that most want to be a part of because it’s “family-oriented.”
“It’s very popular and it’s almost like a being part of a smaller community within the larger school community,” he said. “It’s a very family-oriented atmosphere. They do a lot together, practise together, travel together and go to each other’s games. The coaches do a good job of creating a positive atmosphere, giving the students a lot of valuable lessons on and off the field.”
The preparation for the tournament began in April, with things falling into place in recent weeks. He said because they needed a second field that they had great support from Northumberland Regional High School and the Town of New Glasgow for their assistance.
The town also helped them by providing bleachers and tents for around the field throughout the weekend.
In past provincials he said some of the best support has been from parents and this weekend will be no different, as they stepped up to help with the hospitality suite.
“It takes a lot of co-ordination in the school to help out and a lot of people giving up their time and spaces, but everyone in the school has been very helpful,” he said. “We’ve also had a lot of support from the parents and coaches, who have been great considering the load they have on their shoulders in preparing their athletes to play.”
On top of their school and students benefiting from having the provincial event here, he said the community will as well.
“It will be a very positive thing for our student-athletes, coaches, school itself and the community,” he said. “This will certainly bring business into the community with such a large number of athletes coming for the weekend. I would expect the sport will also benefit from having this here.”