Darby Loudon (17)
Nice reply, I empathize with you and all the Barker Rugby supporters.I have mixed thoughts, I would love for barker to have 5 teams in each age group all of which are competitive but at the end of the day you can’t force kids to play a sport they don’t want to it’s good for no one. I have seen some very talented players in a lot of the As side, especially the 14s look to be quite strong. I agree with a lot of your points, I don’t think scholarships are a long term solution and so the future of the program with the amount of teams is slightly worrying. However, I’ve seen great signs in a new development in the coaching programs, 16As now have a preseason and it’s not just the top players who do 1s and 2s preseason that are benefiting. A number of 15s boys are in the 16s side. There’s no instant solution so this will all take time, 9 of the 15 boys who are playing 1sts started in yr 7, and I see massive improvement from year to year in a number of these boys so despite there clearly being some areas of concerns I still remain optimistic
I hope the focus, as you mentioned, on the younger teams does eventuate and it will be interesting to see how the age groups fare tomorrow.
As you would appreciate, like a business, all things start at the top, in this instance I assume it's the Sports Master and Principle.
If they can't see this trend, or have no interest, then it will only go 1 way, unless there is a change of personnel.
I am not suggesting this is the "be all and end all" if it doesn't improve, there are more important things at school, BUT each CAS school, likewise GPS, ISA etc, has a duty IMO to ensure it is capable of at least adequately participating in all the major inter school activities.
Shore has been a great example recently, it faced a similar Rugby situation (but probably not as dire as Barker), and did something substantial about it.
Best of luck tomorrow, but not too much!