Dubbo South Primary school is in the running to record and incredibly rare sporting achievement.
Both its rugby union and girls’ hockey sides are through to the final four of their respective NSW Primary School Sports Association (PSSA) competitions.
The efforts are all the more impressive given only three of the boys in the union side play rugby as a weekend sport while the bulk of the hockey side does not play that game regularly either.
The rugby side, coached by Dubbo South teacher James DeLyall, is largely made up of the players who were part of the school side which finished sixth in the All Schools state competition in the sevens version of the game while they all represented the school in rugby league.
That side will be in action next week, with the semi-finals and grand final being held next Wednesday while the hockey side, which has already recorded the best result in the school’s recent history, will have its finals day on September 12.
“We’ve done really well to get to the finals,” Dubbo South rugby captain Jonah Raidaveta said.
“The boys have done really well to come together with not a lot of training.”
Hockey captain Ella Murray echoed Raidaveta, saying the closeness within the group was a major reason behind the success this year.
“It’s really good. And it’s good considering the last two years we haven’t gone past the central west,” she said.
“We’re working together and playing as a good team. It’s really exciting.”
We’re working together and playing as a good team. It’s really exciting.Ella Murray
Both Raidaveta and Murray are two of the respective stars in either side and a big reason why the Dubbo South sides have advanced as far as they have.
And while both have loved every minute of the run to the final four in the state, the competition is about much more than results to all the students.
“It’s really fun. Just being around friends and scoring tries,” Raidaveta said of what he enjoys most, before Murray also spoke of what she savours.
“The travelling and being on the bus with all our friends,” she said.
Both sides have scored some stunning results in the run to the final four.
The hockey side, coached by Renae Giddings, has rarely made it out of the western region, let alone finish as one of the state’s best.
Schools from Parkes have often proved a huge rival and those schools have often proved a stumbling block for Dubbo South in the past but this time Murray and her teammates kept the dream alive after scoring a thrilling extra-time victory over Parkes’ Middleton Public School.
A 2-1 win in the final of the western region competition ensured Dubbo South passage through.
The school’s rugby side was dominant early on, cruising past both of Wellington and Narromine public schools before receiving a forfeit from Young and then more success followed.
Raidaveta said his side has been tested at times and there had been plenty of tight moments but in each of those occasions the Dubbo South team lifted
Coach DeLyall was full of praise for his young troops, saying each and every one of the players had shown plenty of character in the outstanding run of results up to this point.
Both respective captains, Raidaveta and Murray, were keen to thank all those who had helped them get to the finals, largely respective coaches DeLyall and Renae Giddings, as well as the supporting parents and the bus drivers and other teachers who have assisted in numerous ways.
The rugby side meets Harbord Public School from Sydney’s northern beaches in the semis while the hockey side’s final four opponent will be either be Tamworth Public School or Bradfordville Public School. Those two schools do battle on Friday.
“It will be really hard going up against the Sydney kids but it will be a good experience,” Murray said of the looming finals day.
The PSSA finals will be held on August 30 for rugby union and September 12 for hockey.