Rugby kids double up to slash costs

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A new Otago-wide rugby draw for high school-age boys will be a huge cost-saver for Wakatipu Rugby Club. 

The club’s Under 14 and U15 teams now play at home and travel away together on a bus instead of trekking around Otago separately each week – a move that’ll save $4000 on bus fares annually. 

The Otago Rugby Union has agreed to arrange the draw for all school-age teams in such a way that different age groups will now travel to the same destination at the same time, high school rugby liaison officer Kevin Rae says. 

“It costs us $900 a bus to go to Dunedin. In past years we’ve had 15-16 boys on it travel to Dunedin and we’ve been paying that every weekend. 

“We’re looking at $5000 for buses [this year]. Last year we spent just under $9000. It’s a huge saving.”
Some Dunedin schools had refused to travel three hours to play away matches and asked opposing teams to meet them halfway, Rae says. 

The new scheme is “about being beneficial for all the clubs … we’re just trying to reduce the cost so kids can play some sport”, Rae says. 

This season the U14s and U15s play five home and five away games. 

The Wakatipu Colts – a mix of 16-18-year-olds – follow a different draw.