Youngsters given a taste of what rugby has to offer at North Walsham

Youngsters put their new-found skills into practice. Picture: Richard Polley

Youngsters put their new-found skills into practice. Picture: Richard Polley - Credit: Archant

'Fantastic...loved it....awesome...lots of fun...the coaches were great...I've learnt so many new skills...I'm going to join a rugby club.'

These were just a few of the comments made by participants in last week's first ever Year 7 Boys Rugby Day organised by North Walsham.

An impressive total of 75 11-year-olds from Aylsham, Broadland, Cromer, Flegg and Stalham High Schools came to the event which had been preceded by taster sessions at the schools.

North Walsham's Head of Rugby James Brooks led the day, supported by three of the club's senior coaches and five first team players. In the morning the youngsters moved between skill stations, each focussing on core elements of the game such as passing, tackling, and scrummaging. Then they had the chance to put their new skills into practice, each school playing the other four in matches lasting 15 minutes.

Enjoyment and learning were key themes. Vikings player Roydon Miller said: 'There were plenty of talented youngsters. It was great to see them improve as the day progressed, putting learning into practice.'

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The teachers were also pleased with John Nutt (Cromer) commenting:'It was a fantastic opportunity for schools to kick start interest and enthusiasm for a sport that teaches so many positive values.' Emma Bullingham (Broadland) added: 'The Coaches did a great job teaching the game's fundamentals; the boys came back enthused.'

Aylsham won the Vikings Year 7 Trophy with Adam Knight from Aylsham named as outstanding player of the day. Awards for the outstanding player from each school went to Liam Crane (Stalham), Callum Bensley (Flegg), Jayden Lafleur (Cromer), Blake Schutte (Broadland) and Jack Payne (Aylsham).

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North Walsham are planning further events, including a weekly after school club, but resources are stretched. Chairman Keith Jarvis, who can be contacted on 07788889853, explained: 'This was a great start but we could offer more. Some sponsorship, however small, would be very helpful.'

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