CALEB O’Neill, Maui Hudson-Radford and Kupu John Amoamo present Coach Ngawai Amoamo with a thank you gift for coaching their team. OB4787-02

ST Joseph’s Primary School students have taken out two rugby shields to end off the season.

The year 7 and 8 and year 5 and 6 teams claimed the Butterworth and Davies Shields respectively in last week’s district-wide rugby and netball Butterworth Shield tournament.

“This was a great achievement and all at St Joseph are extrememely proud of their efforts,” principal Raewyn Clark said.

With the year 5 and 6 team coached by Ngawai Amoamo and the year 7 and 8 team coached by Marty O’Neill, students thanked their coaches and presented them with gifts.

The tournament, which has been running annually since 1944, kicked off with the Butterworth family donating a memorial shield for primary school rugby teams in the district to compete for.

As a district-wide competition, the event annually attracts Coast players as well as those based in town.

This year marked the 75th tournament competing for the shield, with other awards being added over the years.

This includes the Lloyd Davies Shield, donated in 1953 and which is contested by the year 5 and 6 teams.

The Waioweka Shield was donated in the early 1960s by the Coleman, Campbell and Kahaki whanau following a construction accident in the Waioeka Gorge. This shield is contested by year 3 and 4 students.

A tiny tots Rippa Rugby Shield is competed for by year 1 and 2 teams.

The top netball trophy (year 7 and 8) is the St Mary’s Cup (sterling silver), donated by the St Mary’s Basketball Club in 1945.

In the netball tournament, there are six grades and they compete for the cup and trophies, named after some well-known Opotiki netball personalities.

Over the years, the annual competition usually attracts around 1000 competitors, with this year being no exception at 1100.