Rival codes come together

Dunedin Technical football player Rose Connor (8), Football South Development Officer Alex Cox,...
Dunedin Technical football player Rose Connor (8), Football South Development Officer Alex Cox, Otago Rugby capability manager Simon Wallace and Dunedin rugby player Hugo Jury (11) celebrate the announcement of Footy Fusion at Forsyth Barr Stadium yesterday. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
"Footy" must be one of the most contested names in New Zealand sport.

Does it belong to rugby or football?

Next Sunday, it will belong to both.

Otago Rugby and Football South have joined to deliver the Footy Fusion experience.

The event, to be held at Forsyth Barr Stadium, will provide children a chance to try out both sports.

It lines up with Sport New Zealand’s Balance is Better programme, which promotes maximising participation and skill development.

"We have had some anecdotal feedback from our communityon the desire for children to participate in both sports, so this event goes a small way to meet that demand," Otago Rugby capability manager Simon Wallace said.

"Our biggest competition as a regional sporting organisation is not necessarily other winter codes but the ability for kids to choose to not participate in any sport.

"By working with Football South on this event, we hope to give new participants an experience they enjoy by trying both sports for the first time."

Football South operations manager Julia Connor added it was a great chance to try out both sports.

"This is the perfect opportunity for every child in the region to have a go at New Zealand’s most iconic sport, rugby, and the world’s most iconic sport, football.

"Players might not have played rugby, football or any sport but this gives everyone the opportunity to try something new and to do so in the stadium."

An event for rugby from school years 3 to 5 will run from 10am until noon, alongside one for football grades six to eight. From 1pm, football grades nine to 12 will be joined by rugby’s year six to eight.

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