- Danny Care drops in to surprise O2 Touch players for a game
- Find your own game on the new O2 Touch website
England’s Danny Care surprised a group of O2 Touch players who were taking part in a weekly evening session at Old Alleynian’s RFC and got stuck into their skills and drills.
The Harlequins scrum half, fresh from five consecutive starts during the RBS 6 Nations, was there to reward regular O2 Touch devotees and emphasise the benefits of the sport for those players trying the sport for the first time.
Now is a great time to start playing touch whether you are whether you’re old or young, male or female, a beginner or even a pro, as the 27-year-old explained.
“Touch rugby forms an important part of my training regimes, be that with the boys at Quins or during England camps, where we use it to warm up or to sharpen our skills," said Care, who bagged crucial tries in the recent wins over Ireland and Wales at Twickenham Stadium.
“But you don’t have to be a professional to get involved. It’s genuinely a great way to improve your fitness and have some fun – whatever your age, shape, size or ability.
“Especially in the summer, it’s a great way of getting friends together who may not have had any experience playing rugby, to get outside and socialise in the sun while also getting that exercise kick. I’d definitely encourage people to go along to their nearest centre and give O2 Touch a go.”
Photo: RFU Archive
To provide a tangible side to Care’s words and demonstrate the fitness benefits of touch, the International Sports Performance and Analysis Company PGIR was commissioned to conduct a research survey at O2 Touch centres across the country.
The preliminary results have shown that in an hour session of O2 Touch participants can burn off more than 400 calories, providing participants with the combination of getting fit and having fun in the process.
With players covering distances of some four miles and reaching average speeds of more than 12mph, new joiners can all expect to benefit from the sessions whatever age, gender or fitness level you’re at.
Ed Curran, O2 Touch Operations Manager at the RFU, said: “Broadening the reach and appeal of rugby through O2 Touch is one of our key areas to create a lasting legacy for the sport beyond the World Cup next year.
“Touch is one of the most inclusive sports available and the rules are simple. It is a non-contact form of rugby, which means there is no tackling and no scrums or lineouts. It’s a great way for people new to rugby to get involved in the game – you can get fit, hone your skills and meet lots of new, like-minded people.”
O2 Touch is a nationwide touch rugby programme run by England Rugby in partnership with O2 to encourage people to get fit and have fun through rugby. Current or aspiring players can either enter a team into an O2 TouchLeague or join sessions individually at a local O2 Touch Centre.
There are currently some 14,000 registered O2 Touch players at centres located across the nation and there are over 200 established O2 Touch Centres, with 38 recently launched in February and 50 due to launch in September this year.
To find out where you can play near you, check out the new O2 Touch website.