- Fifth annual Suffolk RFU Touchline Sports Youth Sevens held at Royal Hospital School, Holbrook
- Girls' U15 competition included for first time
Photo: RFU Archive
The Royal Hospital School, Holbrook was once again the spectacular setting for the fifth annual Suffolk RFU Touchline Sports Youth Sevens last Sunday (September 25).
The wonderful facilities and location on the banks of the River Stour are the ideal setting for a competition that’s now become and important annual event in the county calendar for aspiring young rugby players.
In all, sixty-one teams from ten of the counties clubs, split in age groups ranging from from U13 through to U17, played 155 games on the day on the schools nine magnificent pitches.
For the first time, there was a girls' U15 competition with teams from the Colchester, Newmarket and Sudbury clubs competing.
Around 650 boys and girls took part under the control of 20 RFU qualified referees that included five 16 year-olds.
The competition allowed the smallest clubs such as Mistley, Harwich and Brightlingsea, who all fielded sides at two age groups, to play on the same stage as the larger clubs such as Colchester, Bury and Ipswich, who fielded multiple entries at most ages.
Stowmarket, Clacton, Southwold and Woodbridge entered sides at every age groups in a competition which encompasses both the beginner through to elite academy players.
Ross Cowie, Suffolk's Chairman of youth rugby, commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity for all the county’s youth players to get together and play on the same stage at the same time.
“As a result, many of the county’s smaller clubs use this opportunity to kick-start their season. In addition, this event has encouraged a co-operation, a unity and friendliness between all the clubs so that the game and players can develop in a positive atmosphere.
“This is rugby for all, an event where the game of rugby wins. I am not so concerned as to who wins, but in ensuring that as many players have the opportunity to play in this splendid arena. Sunday was a magnificent success in many, many ways.”
Andrew Sarek’s pictures of the day can be found at: http://classic.kodakgallery.com/sarek/rugby/suffolk_youth_sevens_2011