|Interschool rugby tournament more than tries to be a success|
|Thursday, 24 May 2012 17:08|
A huge number of school children from schools all across Providenciales turned out to compete against each other May 19 for the inaugural Digicel Interschools Tag Rugby Championships.
The event, which took place at the TCI Rugby Football Union’s Meridian Field in Grace Bay Village, attracted more than 500 children and parents, marking a proud moment for the TCIRFU, which has been working diligently to bring awareness to the sport across the islands.
“Great strides have been made in developing the junior program in the past four years,” said TCIRFU President Keith Burant. “At the TCIRFU AGM strategic planning session last fall, the rugby members clearly identified that the best way to grow the sport of rugby was to bring on board a rugby development officer. Jamie arrived in February and has made significant progress indoctrinating the school children to the ethos of rugby.”
Jamie Tait, the TCIRFUs Rugby Development Officer, has been visiting schools over the last two months introducing both school kids and physical education teachers to the game of tag rugby.
“The huge enthusiasm for rugby that we saw on Saturday, in conjunction with the real talent that was on display, has us very excited about the future of the game in the TCI,” Tait said. “We’ll be doing all we can to build on the fantastic foundations we have in place.”
The TCIRFU believes the event is the first of many events to come with rugby being fully integrated into the school physical education curriculum this fall and the first interisland competition planned for the next school year.
“Teamwork, fair play and discipline are all platforms for rugby as well as great exercise and fun,” Burant added.
In addition to getting rugby integrated into the schools’ physical education programs, the TCIRFU is working to expose local children to rugby further afield. The TCIRFU will be sending four junior players to the Leinster, Ireland, school of rugby excellence this July, and a further 12 will be travelling to Canada in August to play in a series of age group competitions.
As full members of the North America Caribbean Rugby Association, the TCIRFU will be sending teams to five annual competitions.
“We look forward to showcasing the great athletic talent of the TCI on world stage at these tournaments,” Burant said.
Tag rugby is a non-contact version of rugby played by both boys and girls together and involves participants wearing tag belts with velcro flags attached to them. Instead of the physical tackles that are made in normal rugby, tackles in tag rugby involve the flags being pulled off of the person carrying the ball. It is a safe and exciting way for children to be introduced to the game of rugby.
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