18 February 2013, 9:58am
On Friday 8th February the Bath Rugby Community Team were at Marlborough RFC to put children from nine primary schools in the Marlborough area through their paces as they continue their education up the rugby ladder. The tag rugby festival, which forms an important part of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme, brought together over 250 children aged 8-9 years old and gave them the perfect opportunity to implement their newly-acquired skills in an engaging and fun environment.
A massive thanks to Marlborough RFC for the use of their superb facilities. A special thanks to Peter Woods for all his help with the organisation of the festival.
In its third season, the Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme represents a significant investment (£2 million) by Aviva into the grass roots level of the game. Resources will go towards supporting over 1,200 teachers in 650 schools across the country whilst also providing all the kit necessary to play tag rugby. Aligned to the national curriculum and PE syllabus and designed to unearth the next generation of rugby stars, the number of children who will have taken part in the scheme by the end of this season is enough to fill Twickenham stadium.
Steve Middleton, Community Rugby Manager said: "All the kids played their hearts out on a very cold and wet day. I was seriously impressed with their skill levels, it's hard to imagine that most of them have only just started playing rugby! The Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme is perfectly suited to bringing out all the core skills young players need and I'm sure some of these kids will be playing at the highest level sooner rather than later."
Kelly Smith, teacher at Shalbourne Primary School said: "The children were absolutely thrilled to take part in the festival and show off the skills they have developed through taking part in the programme. The Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme has been wonderfully crafted and also crucially ensures that teachers receive quality coaching to help these youngsters reach their potential."