Cromwell Rugby Club president Allan ''Cammy'' Campbell and
Otago Polytechnic sports turf management programme manager
Gary Smith are hoping a new scholarship will attract more
rugby players for Cromwell. Photo by Sarah Marquet.
Cromwell rugby players choosing to play for other Central
Otago teams have led to the creation of a $1000 scholarship in
the hopes the Cromwell club can field the best team possible in
its 125th year.
Cromwell Rugby Club president Allan ''Cammy'' Campbell said
the club lost four or five players to other clubs last year
and Cromwell struggled to field full teams.
But the scholarship was more than just trying to get more
players, it was about fostering rugby.
''One day that 17-year-old that got a scholarship and came to
play for Cromwell could be playing in the World Cup ... we
have to foster rugby and we want them to stay local.''
Originally, the scholarship was open only to people studying
Gary Smith's sports turf management course at Otago
Polytechnic's Cromwell campus.
Mr Smith said his course attracted sporty people but also
people who looked after the grounds and in order to get the
best applicants possible, it was decided to offer it to
anyone studying at the Cromwell campus.
Mr Smith said while a scholarship would be worth $1000, it
was up to the club to decide how many applicants it accepted.
The only catch was that students have to keep up with their
studies, and have to stick with the Cromwell club for the
whole season. Pre-season training has begun and Mr Campbell
said any interested players were welcome to join.
Mr Smith said New Zealand Cricket and New Zealand Golf also
gave scholarships to his students.
This year, he had what might be a record number of students -
18 instead of the average 8 to 10.
The Cromwell Rugby Club is to celebrate its 125th anniversary
on April 27 with rugby games and a guest speaker.
Mr Campbell said Cromwell would be playing a team from its
sister club, Upper Clutha, which it had also played during
Club secretary-treasurer Christine Pyper said the guest
speaker would be former Australian rugby international Nick
Farr-Jones. The following day, Sunday, would include a
barbecue brunch, touch rugby games and official photos.
Organisers are hoping for a turnout of about 200 people.
Registrations so far had come from all around the country,
with one from Australia.