Tuesday 20 February 2018

Spreading the rugby word in 80 schools

The players from the emerging schools stand for a minute’s silence in memory of Anthony Foley
The players from the emerging schools stand for a minute’s silence in memory of Anthony Foley

The Munster rugby development department have been introducing rugby into more than 80 secondary schools in recent months in preparation for emerging schools blitzes.

The first round of blitzes in the U-15 North Munster section took place last week in Clare (Lees Road), Limerick (Newcastle West RFC) and Tipperary (Kilfeacle RFC) with a minute's silence in memory of Anthony Foley taking place before each blitz. The emerging schools initiative is building on the successful first year of the programme in the 2015/16 season and this year sees an additional U-17 blitz series.

The community rugby officers are coaching rugby to students, many of whom have never played the sport, in schools from Kerry, West Cork, East Cork, Cork City, North Cork, Tipperary, Limerick, Waterford and Clare.

The top two schools from each region will go into a finals day in Cork and Limerick after Christmas.

The aim of the initiative is to give as many young people as possible the opportunity to play rugby.

Waterford team up with Saviour's

Waterford City Rugby Club, in collaboration with Waterford Sports Partnership and the school completion programme, recently delivered a four-week rugby programme to fifth class students from St Saviour's National School in Waterford City.

As well as playing a number of fun (and sometimes competitive) games, the programme covered the basic skills of how to handle, pass, and catch the rugby ball correctly. Most of the programme was game-based as opposed to running a number of drills.

Munster community rugby officer John O'Neill oversaw the programme and co-delivered the final session. John also presented the school with a Play Rugby pack that included balls, bibs, cones, tag belts and tags so the school can continue to play tag rugby.

Thanks must also go to St Saviour's National School and their school completion programme for supporting this initiative. The school has now registered with the IRFU to enter a competition that may see Paul O'Connell facilitate a rugby session at their school.

Spots left in Dungarvan

The first annual Dungarvan RFC Mini Rugby Festival takes place on Sunday, November 6, with places for teams at U-12s still available.

In the boys' competition, 16 Munster teams and two each from Leinster and Connacht will take part in the festival, while four girls' teams will participate.

Places are being filled very quickly and clubs interested in travelling to Waterford for the event are asked to contact John Henry (minirugbychair@gmail.com).

Irish Independent

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