A Stella move for Buller Rugby Welcome Stella Richards


A Stella move for Buller Rugby

Local girl Stella Richards has been appointed as Rugby Development Officer for the Buller Rugby Union (BRU). The 21-year-old has recently returned home after completing tertiary study at Otago Polytechnic.

The new role is a partnership role with New Zealand Rugby (NZR) which has a strategic focus on growing the female game. The female game has grown significantly across New Zealand over the past few seasons and none more so than Buller where female numbers have increased by more than 250% over the past 3 years.

The added interest around the game off the back of the remarkable performances from the Black Ferns at last year’s Rugby World Cup and the continued success of the Black Ferns 7’s will help in attracting new players to the game. The role will also include other components across the game locally to benefit rugby in the Buller.

BRU Chief Executive Officer Andrew Duncan said “we are delighted to welcome Stella to the team. She will bring a real energy to our organisation as we look to achieve some very exciting strategic targets over the next 3 years. Last year we had 766 registered players in our region. Having two full time development staff will assist us in being able to retain that level of participation but also give us the ability to grow those numbers with more dedicated resource”.

NZR Community Rugby General Manager Steve Lancaster commended Buller Rugby saying “we are delighted to partner with Buller to help achieve their strategy. Rugby in Buller is in a healthy space, highlighted again by their incredible results from the Sport New Zealand Voice of the Participant survey”. The survey, which goes out to all players connected to the game, assesses players overall satisfaction. Buller recorded a percentage of 90%, the top marker in New Zealand.

Richards said she was looking forward to the job saying “I can’t wait to get started. I am excited to join the Buller Rugby team and go about making a positive difference to the game in our communities. I am excited to learn and grow into the role, it is a great opportunity”. Alongside the support of her fellow staff, Richards will also have plenty of support around the South Island with similar roles in Mid Canterbury, South Canterbury and North Otago. Further assistance will be available by former Black Fern legend Kendra Cocksedge in her role as NZR’s South Island Women’s Participation Manager.

Richards starts on Monday 13 February.