On Saturday 29th August 2015, 32 lucky under 11 school and club rugby teams from all over the UK were invited to play in the Mini Rugby Challenge Cup, organised by England Rugby Travel Tours. The competition involved the likes of Dulwich College Juniors, Caldicott Prep School and Salisbury RFC among others, which made for some high quality and competitive rugby at this prestigious event. Almost 2000 people made their way through the Olympic Stadium turnstiles in the morning to either take part in or support this momentous occasion..
Each competing team were drawn into a minis league of eight, with supporting friends and families sat in the adjacent stands to support the boys and girls that took part. The Olympic Stadium turf looked pristine and the participating boys and girls couldn’t wait to get on it. The touch tournament was set out to be as inclusive as possible with four teams taking away winners trophies at the end of the event, and all participants receiving a gold England Rugby Travel medal. It was an extremely fun day out for all of the teams, as well as being the first to ever play rugby on the Olympic Stadium pitch they got to then watch the Barbarians vs Samoa match that followed, which capped off a great day. The teams also got to meet ex-London Wasps and England hooker, Phil Greening, who was there to support the event and award the winners trophies.
The weather was fantastic, with players, supporters, parents and staff taking in the sun and cheering on their sides. With the Olympic Stadium playing surface divided into four quarters for each league, the tournament ran throughout the morning, with each team enjoying two league matches against their opponents.
“There was some truly great rugby on show with many fantastic tries, scored by some very talented young rugby players. This is the first of many mini rugby events that we will be co-ordinating, and we are already looking ahead to our next event. We were delighted with all of the positive feedback and kind words from the participating schools and supporting parents and we are privileged to have given the children an experience of a lifetime. On behalf of England Rugby Travel Tours, I must thank all of the participating players, school staff members and supporting family and friends. Thanks must also go to all of those who assisted with the event on the day, and to Miles Baxter, the lead Tournament Organiser.” - Rhys Burton, Head of Tours at England Rugby Travel
Kings Hawford School
|Bancroft RFC & Old Brentwoods RFC|
The four festival winners were Langley School, Kings Hawford School, Farnham Rugby Club, and Bancroft Rugby Club. Bancroft RFC picked up the golden trophy, for winning their group and scoring the most points out of all four leagues. The trophies were awarded by Phil Greening who afterwards spoke on the high quality rugby which had been on show at the tournament.
To see some of the feedback and photos from the event, please visit https://twitter.com/engrugby_tours.
Keep an eye out for the next festival to be run by England Rugby Travel, and we look forward to seeing you there!