- Enjoyable tag competitions for boys and girls
- Essex club reaching out to eight local primary schools
Photo: Laura Hammant
Essex club Ongar may not be the biggest but they have grand plans to make rugby available to local primary schools if their recent tag rugby festival was anything to go by.
More than 150 children from eight local primary schools played in the Ongar Schools Tag Rugby competition, organised with support from the RFU, local businesses and Saracens, to whom Ongar are a partner club.
Three competitions were played by 27 teams from Moreton, Chipping Ongar, Rodings, High Ongar, Bentley, Shelley, Blackmore and Doddinghurst Infants. The Boys' Year 2 trophy was won by Chipping Ongar and the Boys' Year 3 trophy by Bentley.
But for many of the coaches, supporters and parents the most exciting competition was the Girls’ Year 2/3 Trophy.
More than 50 girls aged six and seven played as skilfully and competitively as their male classmates, and Ongar coach Pat Carter said: “The girls responded so well to the coaching and put it into practice immediately, which meant they got better and better over the afternoon.” In a nail-biting final High Ongar beat Rodings 4-3.
Every player was awarded an Ongar medal and there were special Saracens prizes for winners and runners-up. Rodings were the winners of the participation prize of a RFU Yazoo Tag Bag for bringing the most players to the festival.
Marcus Cattell, RFU community rugby coach in Essex, hailed the event as “a great example of a small rugby club trying to engage their local schools and interest new players.”
And Vanessa Audas, Deputy Head of Doddingurst Infants School, said: “It was brilliantly organised and very enjoyable. The enthusiasm of the players and coaches was fantastic. We will be playing more tag rugby at school now.”
New players aged 5-12 years old are always welcome at Ongar RFC. For more details, contact Philip Cranwell on 07976 547493.