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Midlands schools in Twickenham curtain-raiser

18 February 2013

  • Ormiston Bushfield Academy and Judgemeadow Community College set for HQ
  • Dream trip for Midlands schools
Judgemeadow Community College

Photo: RFU Archive

Two Midlands schools will have the chance to fulfil every English rugby player’s dream by playing on the hallowed turf at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday, February 23.

Girls' teams from Ormiston Bushfield Academy in Peterborough and Judgemeadow Community College in Leicester will be at Twickenham to play a curtain-raiser to England’s RBS 6 Nations match against France.

Both schools have been invited to Twickenham because of the work they have done in introducing and developing rugby union.

Ormiston Bushfield Academy girls' rugby team

Photo: RFU Archive

At Ormiston Bushfield Academy, rugby was introduced into the curriculum from September 2011 to broaden the girls’ experience of team activities and develop a new skill set. With RFU Community Rugby Coach, Ian Renard, coaching and encouraging the girls and the enthusiasm of teachers Leanne Sansby and James Anderson, the players have been having great fun and making tremendous progress.

The Under 13 tag team got together last October and has already competed in friendly matches and local rugby festivals at Peterborough RFC, who are keen to recruit players for a newly formed girls team, a joint venture between themselves and neighbours and Peterborough Lions RFC.

“Once introduced to the game, suddenly these polite, meek and mild mannered 13-year-olds were shouting and screaming for the ball and charging around at breakneck speed trying to score a try or tag a player,” said Sansby.

“Competition was fierce. Walking off the field at the end there was a real sense of not only enjoyment but satisfaction. Their next question: when can we do contact?”

Judgemeadow Community College has also recently introduced rugby and is part of the RFU’s All Schools initiative for schools that have played little or no rugby previously.

RFU Community Coaches Luke Green and Scott Johnson have been running after-school coaching sessions since last September and the response has been fantastic.

There are now more than 50 boys playing rugby and almost 30 girls, highlighting the impact the programme has had on the school, where rugby’s core values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship have been enthusiastically embraced. The girls’ skills have developed hugely and several are now playing regularly at the Aylestone St James club.