18 May, 11:09
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has issued a statement following confirmation of Ronan O'Gara's decision to retire from playing professional rugby.
The tournament was a fantastic success with six County Sligo Schools taking part: Our Lady of Mercy, St. Ronan's, Scoil Chriost Ri, Scoil Naomh Molaise, Carbury and Scoil Ursula.
The schools brought 22 teams and approximately 200 children with them with each team playing four or five games. The blitz was participation based and was focused on having fun and learning new skills.
The skills and abilities of the children involved were a tribute to the excellent coaching provided by the teachers. Indeed, the most pleasing part of the day was that each team was coached and prepared by the teachers with no YDO help.
This teacher input, along with support from Connacht Rugby and Sligo RFC, should allow rugby to develop sustainably in these schools in the years to come.
Commenting on Buntus Rugby in Sligo, the Sligo Sports and Recreation Partnership Co-ordinator Deirdre Lavin said: "Sligo Sport and Recreation Partnership is delighted to be involved in the Buntus Rugby pilot programme.
"The quality training provided by rugby tutors for teachers from 14 schools throughout County Sligo has empowered them and given them the confidence to introduce Buntus Rugby in their schools.
"The programme has created new opportunities for boys and girls to play rugby and acquire the fundamental skills of the game in a fun and enjoyable environment.
"The support of Connacht Rugby and Sligo Rugby Club in the roll out of the programme is to be welcomed."
Connacht Rugby PDGM Martin Gallagher echoed Deirdre's sentiments, saying: "I am delighted with the opportunity for Connacht Rugby and the Irish Rugby Football Union to work with Sligo Sport and Recreation to develop the Buntus Sports programme.
"The preparation work carried out by our RDO Lyndon Jones and Theresa Kilgannon, SSRP Youth Sport Development Officer, has been commendable.
"The blitz was truly well attended and it was incredible that we had such an encouraging input from the teachers on the day. I would also like to thank IT Sligo for their facilities and Sligo RFC for their continued support of IRFU and Connacht Rugby's development initiatives in the North West.
"It is a goal of Connacht Rugby's Development Department to develop Buntus Rugby over the coming seasons - if teachers are interested they should contact their Local Sports Partnership Office or the Connacht Branch in Galway," he added.
Finally a big thank you all the children who enthusiastically took part and to the teachers for their committed and innovative coaching.