Aviva Ireland have teamed up with legendary Ireland International fly-half, former Munster Rugby Player and current La Rochelle Head Coach Ronan O’Gara to launch this year’s Aviva Mini Rugby Festivals.
Six days, with over 2,000 participants, will take place across the country with festivals taking place in Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster across two weekends in April, before the National Festival takes places at Aviva Stadium, the Home of Irish Rugby, in May.
This year’s Aviva Mini Rugby Festivals will kick off with a girls-only camp this Sunday March 27th in Cill Dara RFC, with 20 girls’ teams expected to participate. The last festival was held in 2019.
Bangor RFC (Ulster) and Old Crescent RFC (Munster) will then play host to provincial festivals on Saturday April 9th and Sunday April 10th respectively, before De La Salle Palmerstown FC host the Leinster provincial festival on Saturday April 23rd, with the Connacht edition taking place at Galway-Corinthians RFC on Sunday April 24th.
2022 sees a return of Aviva’s Mini Rugby programme to their favoured festival format at provincial and national level. Last year, Aviva Ireland teamed up with Irish and Munster rugby legend Ronan O’Gara to launch the Aviva Mini Rugby Virtual Skills Hub, as Aviva Ireland continued to support the development of grassroots rugby and the progress of the nation’s future stars despite the challenges presented by Covid-19.
Next month’s Aviva Mini Rugby Festivals will see 15 U10 Boys teams and five U12 Girls teams in action, at the National Festival on Sunday May 22nd at Aviva Stadium, where hundreds of Ireland’s future rugby stars will achieve their dream as they get the chance to play on the famous pitch.
Speaking at today’s launch, Lisa Bergin, Senior Sponsorship Manager at Aviva Ireland, said: “At Aviva Ireland, we understand the importance of supporting the development of our kids today to ensure a brighter tomorrow. While it was great for Aviva to work alongside the IRFU last year to deliver the Virtual Skills Hub at a trying time for parents across the country, we are thrilled to bring the Aviva Mini Rugby festivals back to clubs across the country.
We look forward to seeing what skills will be on show across the four provinces in the coming weeks and can’t wait to welcome hundreds of children to the Home of Irish Rugby, Aviva Stadium, in May.”
#SafeToDream ambassador, former Irish & Munster Rugby player, and current La Rochelle Head Coach Ronan O’Gara commented: “I’m delighted to be an ambassador for this year’s Aviva Mini Rugby Festivals. Throughout my playing career I was always thankful to the coaches at grassroots level who laid such solid foundations for me to progress as a player.
The Aviva Mini Rugby programme provides coaches at our grassroots clubs with the supports they need to deliver quality coaching to their children – coaching that will stay with them for years, on and off the pitch.
It is also fantastic to see the country’s youngest players be given the chance to mirror their heroes by playing at Aviva Stadium for the first time, which will only fuel their dreams of playing for Ireland.”
As Head Coach of French side La Rochelle, Ronan O’Gara understands the important role coaches play in developing and supporting the future of young rugby players, both on and off the pitch.
Providing young children with the opportunity to get active, have fun and learn new skills through the Aviva Mini Rugby Festivals sets a foundation for grassroots rugby from Mini to youth level and contributes to the players pathway into the senior game. Take a look at our recent visit to North Kildare where the emphasis is on Fun, Friends, Rugby – in that order!
To learn more about Aviva Mini Rugby Festivals, please visit https://www.aviva.ie/sponsorship/irfu/minirugby/, keep an eye out on Irish Rugby social media channels in the coming weeks, or for more information, follow Aviva Ireland across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.