Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall was on hand today to pass on his coaching tips to local schoolchildren at the Barnet Copthall Festival, an integral part of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme. The tag rugby festival was the first taste of competitive rugby for nearly 450 children aged 8-10 years and allowed schools, many of which are new to rugby, to participate in a fun environment with schools of a similar standard.
One school from each Aviva Premiership Rugby club region will qualify for the Finals at Twickenham on Aviva Premiership Rugby Final day where they will rub shoulders with the country’s leading players.
Saracens will of course be in that final and to celebrate that, gave 30 tickets to a school selected at random from the 21 schools present. As a result children from Woodcroft Primary School in Barnet will be at Twickenham on Saturday 28th May to cheer on Saracens.
Launched in October, the Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme represents a significant investment (£2 million) by Aviva into the grass roots level of the game. Resources will go towards supporting over 15,000 man hours of coaching and reaching more than 39,000 pupils aged 9 –11 years old from 650 primary schools in England over each of the next four seasons.
Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall said: “It’s great to see these young kids being given the opportunity to test their skills against each other. That’s what the Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme is all about. It’s designed to broaden interest and participation in the game, especially in non-traditional rugby playing schools, and hopefully we’ll see some of these kids lining up for England in the not so distant future.”
Jamie Alexander, teacher at Woodcroft Primary School said: “We’re delighted Mark has come down here in what is a very busy time for the club to lend his support to the kids, most of whom are new to the sport. It’s a fantastic opportunity for them to learn from a professional coach and he has certainly encouraged them to get involved as much as possible. The Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme teaches them core skills necessary to go on and play rugby union and also crucially ensures that teachers receive quality coaching to help these youngsters reach their potential.”
Saracens allocation of tickets for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final is nearly sold out. The last few tickets to cheer on the Men in Black are available through www.ticketmaster.co.uk by clicking here.