Kaya Ardita looking to nail HSC and Australian Championships in weeks ahead
It’s going to be a pretty big few weeks for Central Coast club captain Kaya Ardita.
The Australian Oztag rep will play up and feature in a star studded Central Coast Men’s Opens team at the Senior Australian Championships later this month just days after he finishes his Year 12 HSC exams.
The Oztag obsessed teenager even tried to sneak in another trip to Coffs Harbour to play with the Central Coast Boys 17s side at next week’s Junior Championships.
“I really wanted to play juniors but I’ve got exams on the Thursday and Friday and my mum stepped in and said it was too much,” Ardita told Oztag Australia.
“I spoke to my coach and he said that the HSC was far more important and I still really wanted to play but I guess I’ll be better off focussing on my studies.”
Ardita has thrived since making the jump from junior to senior Oztag last year.
“This will be my second tournament playing with the big boys and I just love it. It’s so much faster and I really enjoy the physical side of it as well, it gets you pretty pumped up.
“In my first game, I remember I let in a try straight away and I was pretty dirty on myself for that but I was pretty freaked out early on. But then that sort of turned more into excitement and after I got in the groove, I felt way more confident and really enjoyed it.
“The older boys were great and helped me out a lot so I just can’t wait to do it all over again.”
Central Coast will play in their light blue and white colours for just the second time at the Australian Championships this year, after stepping out from the Country Bulls banner to play as an independent association at the annual national tournaments.
Ardita tasted success with his Boys 16s side last year and said he loved getting the opportunity to represent Central Coast in several tournaments each year.
“Playing for Central Coast, it’s unreal. All the other regions have players come together from different sides, whereas Central Coast is Central Coast still and I think that’s why all of our teams are so tight knit.
“Oztag is so strong on the coast and I think it comes from the seniors being so passionate about the game.
“Because of that, they try and get as many juniors playing the game as possible. Even in our local comps, it’s a really welcoming community and everyone just enjoys having a good time together.
While he’s still a little dirty that he won’t be heading to Coffs next week for the Junior Championships, Ardita said he thinks Central Coast are set for some strong results.
“The Boys 14s will go well. One of my friend’s brothers plays in that side so I’ve watched them a bit. They always go really well in round games but sometimes struggle to concentrate and stay composed in the finals. It’d be nice to see them get a good result.
“The Girls 14s, 16s and 17s also go really well so I think we’ll have a few teams playing on Sunday.”
He’ll then turn his attention to his exams and eventually the Senior Championships in late October.
“We made the grand final at State Cup and only lost by a try in the final minute to Homebush, so I think we’re confident we’ll go pretty well.
“One of my good friends from the Australian team is Kong Jacobs and he plays for Homebush and the Warriors, he’s my age as well.
“We’ve got a mad rivalry but we’re still good mates off the field so it’s always fun to play against him.
“He also likes to rub it in when he wins, so it’d be nice to get one back on him from last year.”