TOMASZ CHADWICK: Junior festival is a smash hit

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Well here goes my penultimate junior report for this season and what a week it’s been.

After months of background work and then a week of intensive preparation, Scarborough RUFC was able to host another successful Breakaway Tours minis festival.

With close to 60 teams competing from under-sevens to under-12s, and well over 1,000 people present, this festival truly was the pinnacle for our minis this season.

The tournament attracted teams from all over the United Kingdom and while our players were in the thick of the action playing a large number of matches, in between fixtures they were able to take advantage of the other entertainment available, including a giant bouncy castle and slide as well as laser quest.

The prestigious nature of this event meant that a large number of teams – even though they are still very young, were able to play to a very high standard of rugby.

This meant that our teams were faced with stiff opposition for a large number of our age groups, but each team did remarkably well considering the level of competition.

Our under-nines beat the eventual winners, and two teams from our under-sevens made it through to their age group’s final.

In a great sporting gesture though the teams decided to not play the final against each other, and split the trophy so they could all enjoy the celebrations afterwards.

The weekend itself was a brilliant event for the town and a fantastic way to showcase what this club can offer.

But I’d like to finally give a special mention to all of our volunteers that gave up their time over the weekend so that we could host such a successful event.

The club itself is largely ran by volunteers, but to have so many more offer to help out over the weekend was a humbling experience for me and one that has taught me a lot about those that I spend so much of my time with here. Thank you to you all.

I was fortunate to catch up with John Newton this week, who is the head of sport at Scarborough Sixth Form College.

He has exciting plans to create a rugby academy at the college and hopefully Scarborough RUFC can play a big part in this, especially through my role of youth development officer.

With the college taking the next step to offer rugby at a higher level, this will only be another attraction for the town and to the club.

I will keep you updated with any plans and fingers crossed in a year’s time I’ll be able to write to you all about the success of the scheme.

On May 2 I will be organising a womens and girls rugby festival where we shall have tournaments for under-13s and under-15s teams as well as a headline fixture with our senior team the Valkyries (all between 11am and 4pm).

I’m also excited to announce that we will be hosting an open training session on the day too, so any girls of any age can come and give the sport a go, to see if they enjoy it.

If you have any sisters, daughters, nieces, mums, aunts or friends that would want to play, please feel free to invite them.

The event will be free and will showcase how far women’s rugby has developed in this club and in the county over the last 12 months.

Moving on to this weekend’s plans.

On Sunday we have our under-12s playing on the first team pitch at 11am, in a friendly 15-a-side match against a touring side.

The under-12s don’t usually play on a pitch this size, or with as many players, but with them moving up to under-13s rugby next year (where all this is now compulsory) both teams have agreed this would be a great way to give the players some much needed experience for the future as we’re getting close to the end of the season.

At the same time our under-16s will be playing against Hartlepool at home, while our under-15s will be playing at Yarm.

Our minis will all be back training too and I’m looking forward to seeing them all getting to play in the sunshine again before the season comes to a close.