The Ulster Branch of the IRFU and Instonians RFC recently organised a cross-community rugby match at Sullivan Upper School involving pupils from the Corpus Christi, Ashfield Boys and Belfast Boys’ Model schools.
Pupils from the Corpus Christi, Ashfield Boys and Belfast Boys’ Model schools amalgamated to form an Under-15 team which would compet against a select Sullivan Upper School Under-15 side.
At the end of a very exciting match, which included some very dramatic play, it was hosts Sullivan Upper who clinched the win with a late try.
Former Ulster and Ireland ‘A’ centre Seamus Mallon, who is the Community Rugby Officer for Instonians RFC, has been working with the pupils of Corpus Christi, Ashfield Boys and Belfast Boys’ Model on a weekly basis, holding training sessions to introduce the sport to more than 35 children, many of whom were completely new to the game.
Speaking about the programme, he commented: “It has been very rewarding working with the pupils at each of these schools over the past few months.
“Not only did it provide the pupils with the opportunity to get the physical benefits of rugby in a friendly and safe environment, it is also a great way of making new friends and breaking down barriers between race and religion.
‘As the programme progressed, I was able to see the pupils progress their technical, tactical, physical, mental and lifestyle capacities.
“I would like to thank Willie Anderson for organising the match, as well as teachers, Mr. Finn, Mr. Hawkins and Mr. Wilson for their continued support throughout the Cross Community Programme.
“Finally, I would like to thank Belfast City Council for their generosity in providing a grant for the players’ jerseys.”