Ringers 7s: The story behind Katherine's hidden rugby gem

Pictures: Katherine Times
Pictures: Katherine Times

How do you bring together a far-flung community of ringers, station workers and remote Territorians? With a rugby tournament, of course!

Now approaching its third iteration, the Ringers 7s has become one of Katherine’s most highly anticipated sporting events with teams from across the Top End converging for an afternoon of festivities - both on and off the field.

“It’s a little bit crazy how big it’s become already,” tournament coordinator Kylie Leonhardt said.

“We started off small with four men’s and two women’s teams, then it doubled to eight men’s and four women’s sides last year. Now we’re set to have 12 men’s teams and 7 women’s teams in this year’s event!”

Kylie and husband Jim brainstormed the first Ringers 7s back in 2021 to help connect the rural community at ringing season’s end.

“We run a mechanical business and do a lot of work around the rural NT stations and a lot of people who work on those stations have come from down south and have played a bit of rugby,” Kylie said.

katherine times ringers 7s #2

“But they can’t play up here because they’re based too far out to play in the local competitions, so we decided to pull together the Ringers 7s.

“Only rule was you must work on an NT property or station to participate, and we ended up getting a lot of interest.”

This year’s Ringers 7s kicks off Saturday 4 November with a rough start time around 2:30 with Leonhardt still seeking referees and match officials to join the fun.

“It’d be great if we could get a few more refs along – our refereeing is pretty lax so you don’t need to be the most experienced to come along!”

Further information on the Ringers 7s can be found via their Facebook Page.