XLR8® Games Day in Christchurch 2008
Christchurch turned on a cracking day for the first of we hope is the first of many XLR8® Games Days in the Canterbury region. The initiative was originally launched in Wellington in 2007 and has been quickly taken up by the red and blacks with the support of the Canterbury Rugby Union acting as hosts for the day.
There was a great vibe at Malvern Park as near on 50 athletes combined to make the day a tremendous success, with representatives from the Crusaders Super 14 Rugby Union, Canterbury Wizards Men’s Cricket, Tactix Netball, Canterbury United Dragon’s Football and Canterbury Women’s Rugby Union. The event ran parallel to the Crusaders wider training group who were involved in a game of Gaelic Football and with plenty of enthusiasm in an unfamiliar game, it easy to see why they have been the dominant force in Super Rugby, that along with the meticulous planning of Ashley Jones (Strength and Conditioning Coach) in making sure there is plenty of variety in the pre season build up.
The day provided a unique opportunity that saw both the skill of elite athletes and the competitive spirit that has seen all involved reach the upper echelons of their chosen sports. The various teams were broken down and thrown back together to form a mixture of the codes that then competed in touch rugby, football and volleyball.
Each team contested 3 games in a round robin format under the watchful eyes of qualified officials. The touch rugby was overseen by newly NZRU contracted referee Vinny Munro. Whilst the focus of the day really was on athletes meeting other athletes, scores were kept and after several attempts at penalty shoot outs it was the red team captained by Corey Anderson (Wizards) and Maree Bowden’s (Tactix) blue team who were locked at the top of the table.
A definite highlight was the height of the blue team in the volleyball featuring the Crusaders twin towers of Michael Paterson and Samuel Whitelock, combining with the Wizards Leighton Burtt and the surprisingly quick Peter Fulton who looked good in open space during the touch. The quartet combined to dominate the net position. Athletes were also impressed by the footwork of Michael Fifii (Dragons) who had the round ball on a string during the football.
XLR8® is proud to facilitate this annual event and recognise the support of all of the Canterbury sports community in making this such an enjoyable event. We would also like to make a special mention of the Canterbury Rugby Union for assisting with the venue and logistics for the afternoon.
Again it was fantastic to see such a range of athletes running around on Malvern Park and we would encourage any athlete who is part of a national franchise team or who have represented New Zealand at national level in open competition to get in touch with us.
All the best, The XLR8® Team