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AIB League Central: Ballymena Making A Difference Off The Pitch

AIB League Central: Ballymena Making A Difference Off The Pitch

As part of their efforts to bring rugby to as many young people as possible, AIB League Division One club Ballymena, supported by Ulster Rugby, provided an eight-week skills package to children at Dunfane Special School.

This was the first time that Dunfane Special School had participated in the programme and it has been a great success.

Tom Wiggins, Ballymena RFC’s Youth Development Officer, said: “The children took to the game really well, as the weeks went on their basic skills improved and they seemed to have a great fun experiencing rugby for the first time.”

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The sessions were very much based on fun and enjoyment whilst improving skills such as catching, passing and running.

Teacher Chris Murphy, who assisted Tom during the sessions, said: “We were delighted when Ballymena offered to include the school in the scheme.

“It has been great to offer the children new experiences and the opportunity to develop their physical skills in a different

“From the look on their faces, it is easy to tell it was a very worthwhile experience.”

As part of their drive to bring as many people as possible to the game, Ballymena RFC are presently providing free rugby tuition to a wide range of primary and post primary schools across the Borough.

Several new schools have and will be added to the programme and it is hoped that Tom will be coaching in every post-primary school in the area.

Club Chairman Ray Buchanan said: “Ballymena RFC is committed to developing rugby in the community and allowing as many children as possible the opportunity to experience the game and hopefully join their local club.

“We are very proud of our efforts to date and we look forward to continuing to strengthen our community ties in the weeks and months ahead.”