- Essex schools reach Rugby School finals
- West Leigh win London North festival
Photo: RFU Archive
West Leigh Primary School won the London North RFU YAZOO Regional Tag Rugby Festival staged at Harlow RFC and qualified for the finals day of the national Tag 2 Twickenham festival next week.
The festival is one of the highlights of an on-going campaign by the RFU and YAZOO Primary School Programme, designed to encourage the nation’s children to participate in sport and pursue healthier lifestyles.
Around 250 youngsters took part in the London North event with West Leigh from Leigh-On-Sea and runners up from Downham Church of England Primary School in Billericay securing places at the national finals day.
They will now have the chance to compete at Rugby School, the birthplace of rugby union, on Wednesday July 11 along with other regional qualifiers from across England.
England International and new Saracens wing, Chris Ashton, and former England International and Sale Sharks wing, Mark Cueto, will both be attending the event.
YAZOO and the RFU work in partnership with the national police children’s charity, Child Victims of Crime (CVOC), an initiative to keep children safe who launched Tag 2 Twickenham in 2002. The charity funds the training of over 600 police staff a year to coach Tag Rugby in primary schools. To support the festivals, a police officer from each area is on hand to support the young tag rugby talent and continue to build relationships within the community.
Trevor Koschalka at the Child Victims of Crime said: “Celebrating its 10th year of getting kids active, the Tag 2 Twickenham programme has seen 40,000 children aged 10 to 11 years play competitive tag rugby through the structure. Training of these children has been supported by police staff, RFU coaches and school teachers.
“Throughout this process an increased knowledge of CVOC and the Tackle Safety campaign has been achieved along with the benefit of using the sport to build community links and giving the officers an opportunity to be seen in a different light by parents and children, which has in turn benefited their community policing activities.”
Former England International Cueto, the YAZOO Tag Rugby Ambassador and CVOC patron, said: “It’s always a pleasure to come down to the Tag 2 Twickenham festivals and interact with all the kids on and off the pitch. There has been some great rugby skills demonstrated so I’m sure we’ve seen some stars of the future here.
“I’ve been involved with the programme for over five years and am proud to be a part of what is now the biggest tag rugby scheme in England.”
The winning team and the runners up from the Tag 2 Twickenham Final will have the chance to appear at the curtain raiser of the QBE International v Australia International at Twickenham Stadium on November 17.
In the last five years alone YAZOO, the RFU and CVOC have brought Tag Rugby to over 1,000,000 children as well as donating tag belts, balls and other equipment to thousands of schools across the country.