On Friday last, over 500 national schoolchildren from all over Connacht enjoyed an organised day of Ford Tag Rugby in a St. Patrick’s Day type of festival atmosphere.
At 10:30am, the first school of 34 national schools attending, arrived and by 11:00am the opening address was delivered by Simon Bewley, IRFU Ford Tag Rugby Co-ordinator, followed by the Nations Parade.
The Nations parade consisted of each school dressing up as a rugby playing nation, in whatever way they fet best represented that particular
nation and they marched around the first team pitch in an Olympic type ceremony.
During this ceremony, the official judges, were professional rugby players from the Connacht Senior Rugby Squad; Eric Elwood, Johnny O’Connor
and Dan McFarland. This part of the Extravaganza proved to be very popular with the children, as it allowed them to show their creative and artistic talents.
On the day, the competition was fierce and our three judges were faced with
a very difficult task. After a long discussion, Eric Elwood announced the verdict from the official judges and the winners of the 2002 Connacht Ford Tag Rugby Nations Parade were St. Catherine’s N.S., Aughrim, Co. Galway.
At 12:00pm each national school were allocated a playing pitch, where they were based until the end of the Round Robin type event, each school had a minimum of three Ford Tag Rugby matches to play. The matches were approx. ten minutes long and the emphasis was on fair play and
The 1st prize award was for Fair Play, which went to Scoil Chroi Iosa, Newcastle, Galway. The second award was for the Best Dressed Nations Parade, which went to St. Catherine’s N.S., Aughrim, Co. Galway and the
third and final award, was the Team Skills Award, which went to Geevagh N.S., Geevagh, Co. Sligo.
The success of this, the 2nd Connacht Ford Tag Rugby Extravaganza lies with
the continued work carried out by the Connacht Development Office/Youth Development Officer Scheme. Currently there are seventeen Y.D.O’s working throughout the province and who were all present on the day making this event the huge success that it was.
Guests invited on the day include; Joe Burgess, President CB IRFU, JF Smith, CB IRFU Representative, Eddie Wigglesworth, Director of Rugby IRFU, Gerry Kelly, CEO CBIRFU, Gerry Halloran, General Manager, Ford Dealers Galway, Tommy Conneely, Provincial Development Manager, CB IRFU, Seamus King & Nigel
Carolan, Regional Development Officers, CBIRFU, Bobby McGann, President Galway Corinthians RFC and Murrough McDonagh, Connacht Ford Tag Rugby Co-ordinator.