In conjunction with the IRFU Youth Development Programme, an Athlone childcare facility has become the first such facility in the country to introduce Tag rugby to its after-school club.
Connacht Youth Development Officer Charlie Couper introduced Tag rugby to the after-schoolers at a recent introductory session and the innovation proved to be a great hit with boys and girls alike.
Tag rugby is a non contact version of rugby which can be enjoyed equally by boys and girls of all ages and the underage version has proven to be a great hit in the local national schools in the past few years.
Director of Grovelands Childcare Regina Bushell, who, with her husband Ronan, have a long association with Buccaneers, mentioned to Charlie if he would give a demonstration and coach the leaders of the after-school club on the introduction of the sport to the wide ranging after-school activities at Grovelands Childcare.
Thus, the seed was sown and Charlie proved to be a great hit with the boys and girls who are only too eager to embrace new sports and challenges.
“We were delighted to be part of this experiment as I believe that children should be exposed to all forms of exercise and sports,” commented Regina, who was chuffed with introducing another first at Grovelands Childcare.
After-school leaders Breda and Grace soon got the hang of the new sport although they have no background in rugby and over the coming months Tag will become a regular feature for the boys and girls.
Budding young Buccaneer Conor Glennon was in his element, showing the other children his skills as he is a member of the mini rugby set-up at Dubarry Park.
“There is a huge interest in rugby at the moment following Ireland’s Grand Slam and the Lions tour,” Regina added.
“We were most grateful to Charlie for taking the time to visit us.”
Another keen participant was Eliza Heaslip, niece of Leinster, Ireland and Lions number 8 Jamie Heaslip. She is so proud of her uncle’s achievements this year.