Schoolchildren promoting rugby awareness

PUBLISHED: 09:08 19 November 2009 | UPDATED: 14:41 06 May 2010

RUGBY UNION: THIS week is Herts Rugby Awareness Week with young rugby players across the county helping to raise the awareness of the game through talks at their senior schools. The week was the brainchild of two rugby playing girls from Sir John Lawes Sc

RUGBY UNION: THIS week is Herts Rugby Awareness Week with young rugby players across the county helping to raise the awareness of the game through talks at their senior schools.

The week was the brainchild of two rugby playing girls from Sir John Lawes School in Harpenden, and will see youngsters at 44 of the county's senior schools speaking about rugby, showing a DVD and handing out specially made posters and leaflets.

Oren Blindell and Rachel McCullough, both 15, are the girls behind the initiative and they hope the week will help share the buzz of the sport with teenagers across the county.

"We get a huge buzz from rugby," said Oren.

"It is a great way of making friends and keeping fit alongside our school activities."

Rachel said: "Rugby is a way of keeping fit which is not a burden; you get fit as you go along. We have made loads of friends at the club and have been on tours to the West Country and Wales which were such a laugh."

Schools in the district that have been taking part in the week are Sir John Lawes, St George's Harpenden, Nicholas Breakspear, St Albans Girls' School and Verulam.

Amanda Bate, Herts RFU Volunteer Co-ordinator, said: We are hoping this project will bring more young people into the game, as players, referees, coaches, and as volunteers taking on other roles. We also hope even more schools in Hertfordshire will develop rugby for both boys and girls.

"It has been a very rewarding experience working with Rachel and Oren.

"I am impressed that, even so young, they came up with this initiative. If they are representative of the youth involved in rugby, which I believe they are, the future of the game is looking good."

There are 19 rugby clubs in Hertfordshire with mini and youth sections, and all 19 have achieved the RFU Seal of Approval which assesses a club on its ability to provide a safe, effective, child-friendly environment.

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