Young people

Rotary supporting tag rugby competition in Northern Ireland

Rotary supporting tag rugby competition in Northern Ireland

Hundreds of youngsters will be converging on Northern Ireland later this year for a special tag rugby competition for players with a learning disability. And as part of that, a Rotary District is sponsoring one of the teams.

Rotary is supporting a major rugby tournament for players with a learning disability.

It will take place in Northern Ireland later this year.

The prestigious Wooden Spoon Tag Rugby Festival will take place at Ballyclare Rugby Football Club in County Antrim on Saturday, June 8.

The annual event is sponsored by the children’s rugby charity Wooden Spoon and is the largest event of its kind across the four home rugby nations.

Tag rugby is a non-contact version of the sport when a tackle is made by pulling a tag from an opponent.

There are no scrums or line outs and the games are restarted by a simple pass from the ground. Tries are scored in the normal way.

rugby match playing pitch

Children playing rugby

Rotary in the Heart of England will be sponsoring the Wasps team who will be taking part in the competition.

District Governor, Gary Dancer, said that the initiative was being forged between the Wasps Rugby Football Club’s Community Development team and Rotary across the West Midlands.

He explained, “It started with a conversation between us at the Coventry Jubilee Rotary disabled sports day.

“We are keen to work together to improve the life chances of children in our local community.

“This will give Rotary some excellent public relations opportunities.”

Rotary will be presenting a cheque to the rugby club on February 23rd at the Gallagher Premiership clash between Wasps and Sale which takes place at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

“We will also have a bucket shake at the game and this will be a huge PR opportunity for us,” said Gary. “I will be leading a team to Ireland on June 8th to support this project. The plan is to co-operate on bringing this competition to Coventry next year.”

Clare Hares is the disability section of Ballyclare RFC which is organising the tag rugby festival which will feature hundreds of young people from England, Scotland, Wales and across the four Irish provinces.

Moore Kennedy, who is the founder and manager of Clare Hares told Belfast Live, “It is a great honour for Ballyclare to be chosen as the hosts for the festival in 2019.

“We are very pleased to have been selected and intend to host the best Wooden Spoon festival ever.

“The festival is a great opportunity for school children, especially those involved in the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme and those intending to take up a career in sport or child care, to gain experience relating to people with a learning difficulty.”

Rotary in the Heart of England will be sponsoring 15 children with accommodation, transport and playing kit.

Gary Dancer added, “I believe that this will create a lot of recruitment opportunities for us.

“We hope to sign Wasps up as corporate members soon, they will acknowledge us as corporate sponsors in Match day programmes etc. We announced this at The Midlands Business Networking Expo on February 1st at the Ricoh Arena.”

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