Goulburn Junior Stockmen’s gala trial day with Thirlmere Rugby League has heralded the start of the winter sports season. Goulburn’s North Park was a hive of activity from very early Sunday morning as volunteers set up gazebos, tables and chairs along with ropes to keep spectators back from the sidelines.
The visit by players, officials and family members from Thirlmere was a return gala day after the Goulburn Stockmen travelled up there for a similar day at the start of last season.
Thousands of people lined the grounds or took to the fields as the games got underway. The day involved all age group teams from under 6s to the under 17 girls. It was a really exciting time for the youngsters, many of whom in the younger age groups had not tasted competition outside the local Saturday afternoon competition at North Park or Thirlmere.
For parents, the Sunday gala day is the start of a long winter sporting season that ends around September. By contrast to the mid season grey days and multiple clothing layers to keep warm while watching as the players run from one end of the field to the other, Sunday was quite hot. Jackets that people were wearing when they arrived at the grounds were quickly shed and sunblock applied.
Sunday was a trial day for the older teams, where coaches got to look at their players under game conditions to work out who might be best suited in particular positions when the competition rounds get underway in a few weeks.
Goulburn Stockmen’s publicity officer Amanda Sasse said the Junior Stockmen were still looking for players in the under 6 to under 9 age groups as numbers were a little down on expectations so far.
In these age groups the youngsters play of a Saturday afternoon in Goulburn. It is only as youngsters progress to the Canberra junior competition age groups that they travel away on Sundays for matches.
“It is in the under 6-9s that the youngsters learn to play as a team and pick up the basic skills,” Ms Sasse said.
“Registrations are still open and parents can go on line and register their child with the Goulburn Junior Stockmen. Don’t forget to apply for the NSW Active kids voucher before registering.”