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Tagging along

Tue, 22 Jan 2013 12:40
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The Premiership Rugby Schools Programme introduces more than 39,000 young people each season to rugby union through tag rugby in England

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Aviva, who sponsor England's Premiership, have put £2 million into the premiership programme which aims to introduce school children to rugby football.

The Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme introduces more than 39,000 young people each season to rugby union through tag rugby in England.

The scheme targets new-to-rugby, non-traditional rugby schools. It provides five weeks of coaching and teacher training, grassroots club links, plus resources for the school to continue to play rugby in the future.

The Northampton Saints Community team is introducing tag rugby into more schools than ever. Shilliington Lower School in Hitchin is just one of over two dozen schools to be receiving sessions from the Saints this season, and teacher Amy Vale says that the youngsters involved have been energised by their coaching.

She said: “They were all enthusiastic and couldn't wait to tell me all about it. During the sessions all the children were involved and willing to take part in all the activities. The children who weren't so confident were always encouraged and the skilled players were challenged.

“The children said that the games helped them learn the skills and rules needed to play tag rugby. They enjoyed being able to play with their peers and with Ben and Will from the Saints. They also said that Ben was a fair referee which they appreciated and respected!”

NB Tag rugby is a form of touch rugby in that tackling is replaced, in this case by pulling a strip of cloth from a ball-carrier. Sometimes the game includes scrums and line-outs.

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