WINNERS: The U13s Warwick Water Rats team at a competition earlier this year. Photo: social media
WINNERS: The U13s Warwick Water Rats team at a competition earlier this year. Photo: social media

PATH TO GLORY: Next gen Rats pave way ahead

RUGBY: A season riddled with setbacks hasn’t stopped the next generation of Warwick Water Rats from striving for success, with the club already lining up a stellar 2021.

Not content to let the premiership-winning men’s side take all the glory, the U13s side has pushed through several tough matches to secure a potential finals finish.

Club secretary and team manager Tess Enchelmaier said players’ prior commitments and delays from coronavirus only increased the team’s determination.

“The first week back we only had 14 boys, so we were a player down on the field and had no subs, but to their credit they only lost by one point, so we’re taking it as a win,” she said.

“With the U13s, our main goal is less about being competitive, and more about creating a really good sporting environment to help them establish sportsmanship and be a good team player.

“The actual rugby is the least exciting part. We’ve had three brand-new sign-ons for this short season, which has been really awesome because it means the word is getting out there.”

With the club delivering strong performances across the board this year, Enchelmaier said the focus was now building momentum for the women’s and girls’ competitions.

She explained the key pillars of their strategy would include building their long-awaited women’s change rooms and hosting trial games across the region from next year.

“We’ve got a lot of plans, we’re really focusing on community engagement, community presence, and kind of giving back to the community that helped support us this year,” she said.

“In the off-season, we want to engage with outside communities such as Allora, Clifton, and Stanthorpe with some trial games to encourage new players to come in.

“These will be especially targeted at women and girls, to break down that barrier of rugby being ‘too rough’, because Sevens does give you a bit more space to run.”

Dates for Water Rats’ pre-season and future trial games are not yet finalised.

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