Tag rugby inspires primary youngsters

PUBLISHED: 14:07 26 November 2008 | UPDATED: 11:43 17 June 2010

SESSIONS of tag rugby training by Exeter Chiefs are being enjoyed by pupils at Sidbury and Newton Poppleford primary schools.

SESSIONS of tag rugby training by Exeter Chiefs are being enjoyed by pupils at Sidbury and Newton Poppleford primary schools.

Tony Walker, the Chiefs' community development manager, has been running the series of six sessions for older girls and boys and has been encouraged by the enthusiasm shown.

EDF Energy national schools programme backs the project and, said Mr Walker, the Exeter club was concentrating on schools around Sidmouth this year.

"The kids love it. It is not a contact sport and tag rugby is good for getting them involved in the game," he said.

Some pupils go to tag festivals at Sandy Park and there are school visits to the ground where pupils can meet the players and tour the stadium.

"It is a good thing for rugby and great for the kids, and not just for boys. We find some girls are the best players. Tag rugby is good for building characters."

Certainly Year Six children at Newton Poppleford Primary have enjoyed their six-week course.

Teacher Alison Driver took a group to the stadium on Saturday and about four pupils joined the half-term camp.

A school spokeswoman said: "The children totally enjoyed it. It has been fantastic for them. The girls are as keen as the boys."

She said the school had never had the coaching sessions before but would certainly be keen to do them again as they had generated interest in the game.

Mr Walker said: "The kids took to it really quickly. To get them into the sport now is great and we hope they will join local clubs later.

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