Saturday, 16 October 2021
DOZENS of children from primary schools in and around Henley had the chance to play rugby during a two-day festival.
Pupils from Valley Road, Stoke Row, Nettlebed and Peppard primary schools were hosted by Henley Rugby Football Club on November 20 and 27.
Performance Sports coaches have been teaching the children throughout the autumn term as part of the Player Reach Out Programme (PROP).
Year one and two pupils played a series of unscored tag rugby matches on the club’s “tiger turf” pitch at Dry Leas off Marlow Road. Tag rugby is a safer version of the sport in which a tackle is replaced by removing a velcro strip attached to an opponents’ waistband.
Chris Ellison, head coach from Performance Sports, said: “This is a wonderful programme, introducing tag rugby skills to local schoolchildren in their primary school settings. As you can see from all the smiles on the children’s faces, they are absolutely loving it.
“The opportunity to visit the club and take advantage of the wonderful facilities on offer is very special.
“Both these festivals give the children a chance to show off their skills in a relaxing, fun and rewarding environment for all.
“Henley Rugby Club won the 2019 Rugby Football Union national award for mini and junior delivery. The PROP programme is an important part of this community work, building the club links for boys and girls to continue their rugby after school.”
Some of the schools brought enough pupils to have multiple teams, such as Peppard CofE Primary School, who had the Penguins and the Pacers, and Nettlebed Community School, represented by the Nuggets, Blast and Bruisers.
The programme is designed to help children develop their knowledge of the sport, while at the same time learning the importance of teamwork, discipline and sportsmanship.
Coaches had previously taught the children the rules and were on hand to referee as the children rotated across the six pitches.
Mr Ellison said there is room for more schools to take part in future events and encouraged teachers to get involved with the programme. For further details contact chris@ performance-sports.org.uk
09 December 2019
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