Ulster Rugby players Robbie Diack, Paddy McAllister and Darren Cave have teamed up with independent retail group Centra to launch this year’s Ulster Rugby Summer Camps.
The five-day camps, sponsored by Centra and its independent retailers, will run between July 1 and August 23 at venues across the province.
Players from the Ulster squad will visit the camps to give youngsters tips on the game, talk to them about life as professional players and sign sought-after autographs.
Junior camps, for boys and girls aged 6 to 12, will be played at over 20 locations province-wide, offering hundreds of children the opportunity to try rugby for the first time or develop their existing skills in a fun and safe environment.
Following last year’s successful introduction of camps aimed specifically at girls playing youth rugby and children with special needs, they will again be included in the Centra Summer Camp schedule.
The Girls’ camps, for 12-17 year-olds, will take place at three venues, while the camp for children with special needs will run at Newforge Sports Complex in South Belfast.
The ever popular Senior camp, aimed at boys and girls (13-17 years-old) with previous rugby experience and focusing on the technical, tactical, physical, mental and lifestyle aspects of rugby, will also take place again in August.
Barry Willis, Community Rugby Manager at Ulster Rugby, said: “It’s great to have Robbie, Paddy and Darren on board to help us launch our 2013 Summer Camp schedule.
“All three of these players took up the sport as youngsters and our summer camps are a fantastic way to bring rugby to young people all over the Province.
“The success of the senior Ulster team has been one of the main reasons for the continued growth in participation at summer camps. Another key factor is the significant support we receive from Centra, who are determined to make the Summer Camp schedule more successful year on year.
“The camps provide an excellent opportunity for those who are new to the game and those with some experience, to develop their skills in a fun environment and meet new friends.”
Jenni Barkley from Centra added: “Centra and its independent retail partners across Northern Ireland are proud to support the Ulster Rugby Summer Camps, which we have done for five years now.
“The camps offer young people the chance to learn new skills and of course meet Ulster Rugby players, who attend the camps throughout the summer.
“The additional camps allow many more children to take part and enjoy a week of rugby during the summer holidays.”
The cost of the camps has remained the same as last year: £50 for a place on the Junior camp, £30 for the Girls and Special Needs camps and £80 for the Senior camps.
There are discounts available for a second family member and the prices include a T-shirt, a boot bag, a rugby ball and a voucher to claim a free ticket to an Ulster game at Ravenhill.
Application forms are being distributed to schools and rugby clubs across Ulster and are also available from local Centra stores.
Parents can book and pay for camps online. Full details of this year’s Summer Camps and how to book can be found on www.ulsterrugby.com.