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Coventry engages the world to kick-off major International Tag Rugby Youth Festival

The first Jaguar Land Rover International Tag Rugby Youth Festival kicked off in Coventry today.

Engage! has invited four international teams from New York, Kampala, Brazil and Paris who will join schoolchildren from Coventry for an action-packed programme of activities to celebrate the Rugby World Cup 2015 and embrace the core values of the game.

The children, aged between 13 and 15, will spend the week exploring the city and taking part in a variety of tag rugby training sessions to perfect their skills ahead of the big finale – a tag rugby 7s tournament being held at the Ricoh Arena on Thursday, September 10.

A sporting values conference will also be held in partnership with the British Council and will aim to use rugby and its values to unite the schoolchildren and encourage them to have a greater understanding and appreciation of cultural differences through sport.

The young rugby fans will also watch an array of live sporting action in Coventry over the weekend with the Wasps v Samoa game at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday, followed by Coventry Bears Rugby League game against London Skolars and the first ice hockey game of the season for Coventry Blaze as they take on Fife later that evening.

Tom Clift, programme manager of Engage!, said:

“We are delighted to welcome over 100 young people to the city for this inaugural event as we bring rugby fans from all over the world together to celebrate one of the biggest tournaments in the sporting calendar.

“We’ve put together a fantastic package of activities that really showcase our city from a sporting, cultural and educational perspective that will engage the young people in the game, opportunities to learn about their values and develop their rugby skills, with tips from professional players, as well as experiencing the atmosphere and excitement of attending live matches.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for all teams to create new friendships and memories that will last a life time. We hope that all the schoolchildren have a wonderful time in the city and enjoy all the activities we have planned.

“This is only the beginning of what we hope to achieve in Coventry. By establishing strong partnerships locally and worldwide, we are aiming to build a long-lasting rugby community which engages more people into the sport through future events both here and abroad.”

Engage! has been supported by Wasps, Coventry City Council and local Coventry rugby clubs including Barker Butts, Pinley, Earlsdon and Old Coventrians, who will assist with the training sessions and be present at many of the events.

Coventry schools taking part in the festival include Caludon Castle School, Coundon Court School, Stoke Park School and Westwood Academy.

The festival is also supported by EnV (Coventry) a community interest company that provides support for quality events, training and volunteers in the community, by the community, for the community.