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Leicestershire veterans get new lease of rugby life

21 March 2013

  • Keep In Contact a hit in Desford
  • Weekly sessions enjoyed by all

Veteran rugby players in Leicestershire have been given a new lease of sporting life thanks to an innovative scheme based at the Bosworth Academy in Desford.

Players over 45 – it was originally 50 when the Keep in Contact scheme was established two years ago – play a cross between contact and touch rugby on the indoor 3G pitch at the academy.

The Thursday night sessions have grown in popularity and now have a player base of around 45 with roughly 20 turning up to play each week.

The sessions have reunited former teammates from the old Westleigh club, including organiser Chris Garnett, and brought back them into contact with some of their opponents from the past with players from the likes of Vipers, Market Bosworth and Leicester Forest also turning out.

A broad cross-section of playing abilities, including rugby novices, are catered for and the sessions are enjoyed by all.

“We play a form of touch rugby but when a player is touched they have to go to ground, which brings in the contact element,” said Garnett, a former Westleigh player who is also assistant principal at the academy.

“The age range is from around 45 to 62 and we have some players who had never played rugby before, former players who want to keep fit and some who are still playing who use it as a training session.

“We play through the summer, we organise our own Christmas dinner and we have our end-of-season awards.

“It’s great fun. There are quite a few of the old Westleigh players involved but also players who used to play for other clubs in the area.

“The camaraderie is very good and proved very popular.”

New players are welcome at the Keep In Contact sessions, which start at 7.30pm on Thursdays at Bosworth Academy.