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Coventry’s biggest ever school tag rugby festival

Coventry’s biggest ever school tag rugby festival has taken place to shine a light on the impact of grassroots activity taking place in the city.

More than 220 Coventry primary school children from 32 teams formed across the city attended the Engage! Coventry Mega Tag Rugby Festival at Earlsdon RFC to take part in a seven-a-side tournament.

It was an opportunity for pupils to display the values of rugby that they had been taught via a mixture of classroom and practical activities over the past 12 weeks.

These values include teamwork, respect, integrity, enjoyment and discipline.

Stuart Bird, from Engage! has helped to deliver the programme to more than 4,000 of the city’s school children since its inception two years ago.

This year marked the first time the event wasn’t held at an Engage! Associated venue as part of a bid by organisers to open up the game to as many young people as possible.

He said:

School-based initiatives such as the Engage Values Programme are critical to igniting an initial interest in rugby and producing the next generation of players and fans, so we are thrilled to see the uptake of our programme going from strength-to-strength.

The children have been able to learn about each core value in a fun and engaging way. So for enjoyment they have been playing board games to learn about having fun but not at the expense of others so nobody gets left out.

For respect, they have played and watched each other play ping pong to explore how to treat each other correctly, such as cheering each other on, scoring and congratulating one another.

To develop teamwork we’ve tasked the children to create rugby formations using cut out shirts, and for discipline we’ve given them building blocks to construct the tallest tower but with the pupils having restrictions placed upon them.

The summer term has been one of our busiest yet delivering to 16 different schools, and we’re expecting to be just as busy in the next academic year.

We have now developed a structured model with local rugby clubs where Coventry as a city can capitalise on the initial interest Engage! is creating when going into schools, by signposting them on to their local rugby clubs to carry on playing.

For more information about the Engage! Values Programme visit www.engagecoventry.com