Young people

Rotary youngsters have a ball in Northern Ireland

Rotary youngsters have a ball in Northern Ireland

A team of youngsters with learning disabilities from the Midlands took part in a tag rugby event in Northern Ireland, as part of a squad sponsored by Rotary.

Rotary in the Heart of England sponsored a mixed team of young people to take part in an international tag rugby festival in Northern Ireland.

The Wooden Spoon Tag Rugby tournament for youngsters with learning disabilities took place in Ballyclare, County Antrim.

The Rotary squad headed across the Irish Sea in partnership with the Wasps RFC community team.

The annual festival 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. A tackle is made by pulling a tag from an opponent, there are no scrums or line-outs and games are restarted by a simple pass from the ground. Tries are scored in the normal way.

This is part of our ongoing plan to offer opportunities to young people to access sporting opportunities.”

Hundreds of youngsters from England, Scotland, Wales, plus Ireland’s four provinces took part in the festival, which featured games at under-15 and over-15 level. It was divided into two sections based on degree of learning disability with the emphasis on fun and activity.

District Governor, Gary Dancer, who accompanied the Rotary youngsters, said that the competition went well.

He said: “The young people enjoyed the opportunity of a lifetime to play in this prestigious tournament which features teams from the UK and Ireland.”

The tournament will come to England next June when it will be hosted by Wasps RFC who have been based this season at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena.

Gary added: “It is hoped that Rotary in The Heart of England will play an enhanced role in next year’s tournament, through our partnership with Wasps RFC, this is currently planned to take place in Banbury.

“This is part of our ongoing plan to offer opportunities to young people to access sporting opportunities.

“We have a successful programme to offer cricket training through the Chance to Shine programme with the Warwickshire Cricket Board.”

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