Southern Zone takes on Northern Zone in unique sporting contest

Some of the Illawarra’s most talented high school students have faced off in a unique sporting challenge.

The event, which was the brainchild of Southern Illawarra Zone president Darren Nunn, saw the best teams from Southern Illawarra Zone face off against their Northern Illawarra Zone rivals. 

Ultimately it was Southern Zone who claimed the Sims Wright Challenge Shield, named in honour of Illawarra school sport stalwarts Marg Sim and Ken Wright. 

“For the last two years I’ve been speaking about a Northern Zone and Southern Zone sports competition.” Nunn said. 

School challenge: Keira took on Oak Flats in the senior boys basketball as part of the Sims Wright Challenge Shield. Picture: Georgia Matts.

School challenge: Keira took on Oak Flats in the senior boys basketball as part of the Sims Wright Challenge Shield. Picture: Georgia Matts.

“It’s a unique environment in the Illawarra in the sense we’ve got a similar number of high schools in northern Illawarra to what there is in southern Illawarra and with a really proud sporting tradition in the region, a clash between north and south was an obvious step. 

The students faced off in seven sports, senior girls netball, junior girls netball, open girls volleyball, junior boys oz tag, junior girls oz tag, junior boys basketball and senior boys basketball, with Southern Zone taking out five of the events, Northern Zone one and the teams sharing the honours in the seventh and final match.

Nunn labelled the event a success and he already has plans to expand the tournament in future years. 

“It was a huge success, the students loved it, they got to play mate versus mate. We only had seven sports in the first year to keep it more manageable, but Northern will visit Southern next year and we will look to expand the number of sports.”

The teams were selected to represent their zone based on performances during the school year, with the schools who finished first in their zone in each sport advancing to face the other zone’s winner. 

This meant a wide number of schools from across the whole region were represented at the event.

Nunn also hopes to develop a representative Twenty20 event, with the top players from each zone selected to face off in his continued effort to strengthen ties between athletes in the region.