The Girls Senior Touch Team had a successful year for the 2020 season and should be very proud of all their achievements.
In 2019, the Burnside High School team headed to Rotorua to compete in the New Zealand Secondary Schools Touch Tournament. This was a 3 day tournament which was held at Westbrook Park & Ray Boord Reserve, Rotorua and was played over the weekend of the 13th - 15th December. The team had a tough start to the tournament as they faced many teams that had competed at nationals for several years. Luckily, one of our team's games was live-streamed, which was a great opportunity for lots of supporters in Christchurch to watch. Heading into the last day of the tournament, the girls ended up playing their last game against Rangi Ruru. It was a well-fought game with a score of 3-5 leaving the girls placed 20th. This was a huge achievement as the team had not competed at Nationals since 2015.
For the 2020 season, the team was captained by Gemma Rowe and Riley Thompson, who did an outstanding job leading the team together. In Term 1, it was a strong start to the season with the girls making the Canterbury Secondary Schools Wednesday Super Touch final, ready to face Rangi Ruru. Unfortunately, the final for this competition was cancelled 2 hours prior to the game, due to Covid-19 concerns, which meant the teams shared the title.
The team was entered to compete at the Canterbury Secondary Schools Championships, which was held on Saturday 21st February at Sheldon Park. In this competition they faced some tough teams and ended up in the final against Rangi Ruru. They ended up falling short, as Rangi took out the game 7-6 after Burnside beat them in the round robin 6-5. The next step after this was the South Island Secondary Schools Competition, also scheduled to play at Sheldon Park. Again, unfortunately due to Covid restrictions, this tournament was unable to go ahead meaning the beginning of the season was cut short for all Touch teams.
In December 2020, the Burnside Girls' team will be heading to Rotorua again to compete in the 2020 New Zealand Secondary Schools Touch Tournament. The team have been preparing for several months and are looking forward to competing at this event.
There are many Year 13s in the team that will be leaving after Nationals. The team would like to acknowledge these girls and wish them well in their future endeavours in sport and life.
Gemma Rowe, Riley Thompson, Helena Morris, Abby Goldsmith, Paige Mather, Paige Cleminson, Brooke MacDonald and Tanykah Wilson.
The team would like to congratulate the following players on their success of making Canterbury Representative Teams in the 2019/2020 season: Riley Thompson, Gemma Rowe - Under 18 Girls, Open Women's Development. They would also like to congratulate the girls who have made the Canterbury Representative Teams for the 2020/2021 season: Isabella Grant, Taylor Heath, Milla Downing, Amelie Cowell, Manisha Seebeck, Seruwaia Qailvutu - Under 16 Girls, Riley Thompson - Under 18 Girls.
The Burnside High School team would like to acknowledge the dedication of the coaches and manager. We owe a huge thank you to coach, Graeme O'Callaghan, who has been coaching the team since 2011. After 9 years in the job he has decided to move on from coaching. Thank you Graeme for all of your hard work and commitment you have put in through the many seasons. We are very grateful to have learnt some of your knowledge of the game.
A big thank you to assistant coach, Freya Aldridge. Freya played in the Burnside Senior Girls Touch team as a Year 9 in 2013 all the way through to a Year 13 in 2017. She then went on to help coach the team for 2 years from 2018-2020. Thank you Freya for helping the team.
Thank you to our manager, Carla Phillips, for all your behind-the-scenes work and ensuring everything runs smoothly. The team really appreciates it.