The IRFU promotes the game of rugby at every level. Through the network of the provincial branches and a team of Development Officers there are is a constant level of unsung activity going on. A recent Ulster Branch Blitz Day for Year 9 pupils in the North West region highlights some of the work being done.
Ulster Branch Development Officers recently ran a Blitz Day at Ballymoney RFC for Year 9 pupils in the North West region.
On Monday 29th September, Year 9 pupils from 8 schools in the North West region took part in the Blitz, including Ballymoney HS, Dunluce HS, Oakgrove Integrated, Sperrin Integrated, Limavady HS, Cookstown HS, Slemish Integrated and Coleraine College.
This is an annual blitz that has been running for the past 20 years. Monday saw the Year 9 pupils from the various schools compete, and the year 11s will compete in a similar competition at a later stage. The tournament was run with 2 pools of teams, with the top 2 in each group playing in the semi finals, and the 3rd and 4th placed teams also playing each other.
After some great displays of rugby, it was Ballymoney H.S. who emerged as overall winners, beating Slemish Integrated College in the final.
The Blitz day was organised and run by a number of the Ulster Branch Club Regional Development Officers and Youth Development Officers including Benjy Van der Byl, Alan Robinson, Jonathan Quigley, Scott Nelson, Owain Rees, Tom Wiggans, Harry Faulkner and Shaun Bloomfield.
After the blitz, CRDO Benjy Van der Byl commented on the day: “This year’s year 9 Blitz was another great success, and we have seen some excellent rugby being played here today. Congratulations to Ballymoney on their win, and I would like to thank all the schools and their teachers for taking part and for showing such enthusiam, despite the rain! I’d also like to thank all the other development officers for their help in organising the blitz, and we are all looking forward to the Year 11 Blitz which will also be taking place soon.”