28 Jun 2015

Safety of students compromised says principal

7:46 pm on 28 June 2015

The principal of a South Auckland school where there was a post-rugby brawl that left a boy in hospital, says the safety of students was compromised.

Yesterday, a 14-year-old boy was knocked unconscious after a fight broke out following a match between Otahuhu College and Tangaroa College.

Tangaroa College principal Ngaire Ashmore said the school would hold a staff meeting tomorrow to address the situation.

"We're taking it very seriously, we really want to understand how student's safety was compromised and we will take whatever steps we can to ensure that this doesn't happen again."

The Secondary Schools Sports Council says there has been a rise in the number of fights at school sports games because adults are upping the stakes and not letting their children play as they should.

There have been two incidents of off- and on-field violence at south Auckland sports grounds over the past two weeks.

The council's director, Garry Carnachan, said most incidents he dealt with were not started by the players, but by over-zealous parents and coaches.

"It's not about apportioning blame, everybody does their best including referees and schools and sporting codes to ensure these things don't happen, but unfortunately they do and it tends to be becoming more prevalent.

"And I think it's about time the adults, whether they're parents or whatever involved in young people's sport take a look at themselves and let the kids play."

Mr Carnachan said the incidents were not just happening at secondary school level, but right through young peoples' sport.

Rugby player making progress, says principal

The principal of a South Auckland school where a post-match brawl left a young rugby player in hospital says the boy is making steady progress.

The 14-year-old was knocked unconscious yesterday when a fight broke out at the Otahuhu rugby ground after a game between Otahuhu College and Tangaroa College.

Police said up to 40 people were involved, including players and spectators.

Otahuhu College principal Neil Watson said the incident should not detract from the experience of hundreds of other students and families who play and watch sport every week.

Senior sergeant Jeremy Field said police were unsure what had started the brawl and had more witnesses to speak to.

He said people at sports events needed to feel, and be safe and this sort of behaviour would not be tolerated in the community.

An 11-year -old player from Papatoetoe is waiting to hear if he will be banned for life from rugby, after being accused of attacking a referee a fortnight ago.

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