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Holy mission a big success

Holy Family Senior National School, Rivervalley, Swords, has over the past few years become one of Leinster's fastest growing rugby outposts.

Last year, more than 180 boys and girls took part in a 10-week internal league culminating in a grand finals night held in conjunction with Swords RFC.

At the same time, the school provided Swords RFC with U10 and U12 teams, both of whom finished their seasons unbeaten in the North East area.

Following a number of years of coaching in the school and the input of the local YDO, Jamie Gormly from Swords RFC, Leinster rugby have this year recognised the efforts being made to promote the game in Holy Family. A recent visit of Leinster squad members Rob Kearney and Jonathan Sexton, along with the Triple Crown and Six Nations trophies, to the school proved a terrific success and caused tremendous excitement.

As a follow-up, a seven-week series of mixed tag sessions run by Christian Stemmet, Leinster Community Rugby Officer/Fingal County Council, saw some 120 sixth class students playing the game. Five class teachers were also actively involved with these sessions, further broadening the contact of school personnel with the game.

Currently two separate groups of boys, one from 3rd and 4th classes and the other from 5th and 6th classes, are involved in twice weekly training sessions with Dave O'Keeffe and Gormly, while tag classes for boys and girls in 3rd and 4th class are also part of the school's PE programme.

In all, more than 300 children are experiencing the game at some level in this school.

The need to continually support the work being undertaken in schools such as this one is obvious if rugby in Leinster and Ireland is to continue to grow and young people are to be encouraged to become involved.

For further information on rugby in your school or club please contact Christian Stemmet, Leinster/Fingal Co Council Community Rugby Officer on 087-9118642.