Altrincham Kersal U10s with Phil Mackenzie & Mark Jennings
12 teams all lined up to attend the U9s festival at the AJ Bell Stadium on 10th January prior to the Northampton Saints match - only for the festival having to be cancelled due to the weather. Half of the teams decided to still attend a specialist skills clinic for U9s, with their coaches and take part in the 'festival' parade at half time. Others just attended the match and took up the offer of a coaching clinic at their own site.
10 teams all organised for the U10s festival and despite some bitterly freezing weather, with horizontal sleet, all the teams completed the tournament, with some fantastic play. Coaches from the various clubs as well as SCT coaches and staff were on hand to help out with refereeing, and generally keeping the players on time and warm.
The Spirit of Rugby award went to Lewis Davies from Knutsford, and he attended the Sharks v Scarlets game with his family as his reward.
Prior to the Scarlets game, we have ten U11s teams all playing against each other; all will get a medal and flag and parade around the pitch at half time and that will produce another Spirit of Rugby award for the U11s.
At the Sharks v Saracens we will be running a festival for U12s, and again we currently have 10 teams entered.
All the festivals have been run under the Kids' First New Rules of Play initiative and so far, it's been tremendous to see the strides forward the clubs are making, whether they are fully signed up to Kids' First, or this is their first experience of it. We've received some great feedback from the clubs taking part and despite all the weather problems, everyone involved has brought with them their own bit of sunshine!
When you think of Liverpool you can't help but associate the city with football - but one Toxteth teenager and Sale Sharks are looking to change all that through Premiership Rugby's innovative Rugby4All programme.