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Canterbury principals condemn ‘elitist’ proposal to exclude Combined Schools from top competition

Canterbury schools rugby news

In a recent development, a proposal to exclude combined schools’ 1st XV rugby teams from the top grade of the local schoolboy competition has sparked backlash from school principals, who have labelled the move as “elitist” and “self-serving.”

The proposed change, which suggests that combined teams from Canterbury schools lacking enough players to form a complete team should only compete in the lower championship division from next year, has been criticised for potentially reinforcing exclusivity and marginalising smaller or less resource-rich schools.

Principals from Darfield High School and Christchurch Boys’ High School have been vocal in their opposition, arguing that the decision lacks clear rationale and disproportionately benefits private and boys’ schools, thus hindering equitable access to top-level rugby.

Andy England, the principal of Darfield High School, told state media he was disappointed over the proposed exclusion, saying it undermined the inclusive model that allows diverse schools to compete at the highest level. He noted that the change could force rural students to relocate to larger urban schools to pursue their rugby aspirations, disrupting their community ties. Similarly, Nic Hill, the headmaster of Christchurch Boys’ High School, criticised the move as driven by self-interest and marketing motives rather than the best interests of students.

Image credit: Sergey Omelchenko

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  1. Darwinism in action-the Elite picking only their own while excluding the real champions and winners…
    Kinda like the Olympic Rowing team in the U.S. that has excluded a White Woman from the team, with the rowing board is comprised of…women who are all black!
    Now how’s THAT for the disenfranchisement of a #1 rower?

    “For the unqualified to be granted opportunities for which they are not qualified for- that is tragic enough. But for the qualified NOT to be allowed to do that for which they are qualified for; that is the real tragedy!”


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