More than 100 youngsters descended on Hudson Park, home of the senior team Garstang RUFC, on 24 October to take part in the ‘TAG’ rugby festival, which was sponsored by L Stewart Dimond & Son Funeral Directors.
The full day’s event saw pupils aged between eight and 10 from 10 local primary schools being coached before competing in mini tag rugby competitions.
Tag rugby is a modified version of traditional rugby union in which the players wear Velcro belts with tags hanging off. The playing format replicates the union style, but when a player rips off a tag – rather than being tackled – he or she then passes the ball.
“I always enjoyed rugby as a child and loved going for days out to play sport,” said Greg Hodgkinson, manager of L Stewart Dimond & Son Funeral Directors. “I wanted to support the local schools as well as the local rugby club so we decided to sponsor a big festival, giving the children a fantastic experience playing rugby and, with the club’s help, perhaps find the next Jonny Wilkinson.
“The day was a great success and the dry and warm weather helped. The children had a fantastic time and we are hoping to make it an annual event,” he added.
Bilsborrow John Cross Primary School won the Festival Shield, while St Michael’s on Wyre won the Festival Trophy competition. The first ever winners of the prestigious Stewart Dimond Cup were the victorious players from Garstang Community Primary School who triumphed 2-1 over Forton in the grand final.
The event was heavily supported by the local RFU Rugby Development Team and Myerscough College which provided sport coaching degree students.
Image: Winners of the Stewart Dimond Cup – players from Garstang Community Primary School.