As Irish Rugby looks ahead to a summer of fun, mini rugby players are being welcomed back in their thousands across the four provinces. Blackrock College are one of many clubs who had been preparing for the day they could reopen their gates. IrishRugby.ie headed to Stradbrook to see what everyone’s been missing.
Detailed COVID-19 Safety Plans are being implemented and domestic rugby is officially up and running in line with government guidelines.
“It’s amazing to have the children back,” said club volunteer Dara Donohue. Dara is also Chair of Leinster Rugby’s Metro Mini Rugby Committee.”
“The amount of work that clubs, parents and families have put in to get us back has just been amazing.”
“It’s lovely to see. It’s important for the clubs to have them back. It’s important for continuity for next year.
“Normally at this time of year, it’s the end of season for rugby, but to have 400 children come back in has just been fantastic.”
Aviva are proud sponsors of the IRFU since 2010. Brian O’Neill is a Blackrock College RFC member and Aviva’s Head of Communications, Brand & Sponsorship in Ireland.
“I think we have seen this year and in 2020 just how valuable mini rugby is,” he said. “It’s far more than a sport – it’s a whole collective.”
“I’m delighted on behalf of Aviva that we have been supportive of this for 11 years. Even in the darkest times this year, when we couldn’t get out on the pitch, then we had the virtual Aviva Mini Rugby Skills Hub, which was at least of some consolation to parents and gave their children something to access.”
“That’s the new model of the club – reaching out to communities and getting children in from the earliest age possible and that’s what we call #SafeToDream. Children can start their dreams here and find their level.”
“It’s about making sure that the maximum amount of children can enjoy the game.”
Adrian Leddy is chair of the IRFU Mini & Youth Committees; “We’re really looking forward to a great summer of fun this year,” he said.
“Young boys and girls were really anxious to get back and we’re really looking forward to the summer.
“The enjoyment that you see here in clubs is absolutely fantastic.”