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Youngsters try out rugby as part of Coventry Sports Week

Around 1,000 young people have been trying out their rugby skills in Coventry city centre.

Rugby clubs from across the region descended on Broadgate during Coventry Sports Week to lay on a series of touch and tag rugby games, as well as passing and tackling challenges.

The rugby day was co-ordinated by Coventry Sports Foundation’s Engage! project, which aims to promote the sport through teaching rugby’s core values of teamwork, respect, integrity, enjoyment and discipline.

Coventry Bears, Coventry Rugby Club, Wasps and the Rugby Football Union (RFU) also held mini coaching sessions. Spectators were also treated to a competitive mascot race between Coventry Rugby’s Nellie the elephant, Coventry Bears’ Big Blue and Wasps’ Sting – which saw Nellie run out the eventual winner in a tie-break.

Tom Clift, Programme Manager at Engage!, said:

As part of Coventry’s ten year sports strategy, we were really pleased at the amount of youngsters we introduced to the game of rugby in just one day as part of the week’s exciting programme of events and activities.

It’s another step in the right direction for Coventry’s City of Rugby project, which involves various partners in the region aiming to make the city a world leader at every level of the sport by 2023.

It was a great day overall with young people learning about the core values of the game through touch and tag rugby, helping to build up their confidence and showcase their talents.

It’s important for us to make the most of the interest that is generated among children on the day, so it was also really encouraging to see them signing up to become junior members of the various clubs that supported the event.

Engage! has now introduced more than 4,000 young people to rugby so far, and we’re hoping this will inspire others to get involved in the sport over the coming months especially with the current Women’s Rugby World Cup.

Councillor Kamran Caan, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Sport, said:

It’s great to hear that so many young people have been introduced to rugby through this project. I hope some of those who gave it a try will take up the sport as a hobby or to join their local club, helping them to stay active and healthy.

Coventry Sports Week was supported by Coventry Business Improvement District (BID) and manager Trish Willetts, said:

It was an absolutely fantastic week, bringing out so many young people to try out a complete mix of sports.

I am thrilled that the rugby sessions were a hit with everyone who came along and hopefully it inspired them to take up the sport.

I would like to say a big thank you to all of the organisations who took part in the week and helped to make it the massive success that it was.

The Engage Values Programme – which teaches Coventry and Warwickshire’s primary school children core life values through classroom learning and the game of rugby – starts again in September and is FREE to all primary schools in Coventry.

For more information on the programme email