© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

Surf in the summer, rugby in the winter. 

Lachie McLeod
Sumner Rugby
Sumner Rugby Club Under 12 Kingfish team holding the Super Rugby trophy.  Matt Wood

Sumner Rugby Club is celebrating record numbers of young junior players eager to put on the jersey and play with their mates.

Sumner Rugby is a major part of the Sumner community and Thursday night trainings are no different. 

Just a stone's throw away from the city, Sumner has several junior teams starting its 2021 campaign. 

The club has had an influx of junior rugby players this year, the most since the 2010/11 earthquakes. 

 

Sumner Rugby development officer Jacob Mangin said the club was a strong part of the village community. 

"It has a really great family vibe, it's like a country club but in the city." 

Club president Matt Wood agrees. 

He believes the community is what makes Sumner rugby great. 

He said it was a small community but when the club has a home game 100s of people came to support. 

 

Sumner Juniors
Sumner Rugby Club's U6 and U7 playing rippa Sumner Rugby Instagram

Throughout Covid-19 the junior program lost a few numbers but gradually built them back up. 

The new generation of Sumner rugby players is important to the club's future. 

Wood believes "the club’s only as good as the youngest player coming to us".

Mangin said the value of rugby was what’s important. 

"It's probably a little different from other sports with really good camaraderie."

Parents from the under-6 team said it was great to see the development of the kids each year.

Cold Christchurch nights are not for the faint-hearted but the kids were thriving with a rugby ball in hand. 

Mangin said the parents and volunteers were what drove the club. 

He said without the parents volunteering their time throughout the week and on countless Saturdays the Sumner juniors wouldn’t get the opportunity to play. 

Both Mangin and Wood said kids should give rugby a go. 

Mangin said, “the good thing about rugby nowadays is we are a lot more progressive and there’s a lot of rippa-rugby going on.” 

Rippa-rugby allows kids who are worried about contact a pathway to still play rugby up until under-8 grades.  

Mangin said this also helped young girls get the confidence to lace up the boots and have a go. 

If you are interested in signing your kid up to Sumner Rugby be club click here or click here to find a club near you.