10 Nov Tag Rugby – Primary School Games and Festival
On the 3rd November 2015, the Havering tag rugby School Games Competition and Festival took place at May & Baker Sports and Social Club. Although there were cloudy skies for much of the day, the rain stayed away which was just as well for the 450 children taking part and also for the almost equal number of spectators and supporters! There were 7 pitches in use throughout the day with 26 teams on the 4 being used for the School Games Competition and 18 teams on the 3 allocated for the festival. It was the highest turnout for a Havering competition this autumn and that might have been partly due to the recent Rugby World Cup. In fact, preceding the game, Oakfield’s Montessori School took everyone through a Hakka that they had created for the day.
The aim of the day was to create a high quality environment where children could compete, discover new skills and perhaps develop a passion for rugby. Although only the winners of the School Games Competition would progress to the London School Games finals there were the values awards of “teamwork” and “passion” to strive for.
Tag rugby is a very fast paced game with a great deal of skill required to dodge and out manoeuvre opponents whilst travelling at speed. As predicted the School Games Competition was hotly contested with all teams displaying the many elements of the game admirably. Matches were played across 4 pools with the winners and runners up of each pool progressing to the quarter finals. At this stage the schools playing to progress to the semi-final stage were – Langtons Junior and Dame Tipping, Clockhouse and St Patricks, Branfil and Ardleigh Green and Upminster Junior and St Josephs. The semi-final games between Clockhouse Primary and Upminster Junior and Ardleigh Green and Langtons resulted in a Clockhouse vs Ardleigh Green final. After the allocated match time and additional time Ardleigh Green were successful in scoring a golden try. They will now represent Havering and compete at the London School Finals taking place at Barn Elms Sports Centre on 17th March 2016.
The festival was equally as competitive and after 24 rounds of matches across the 3 pitches the semi-final games were played between Clockhouse Primary and Upminster Junior and Newtons and Ardleigh Green. This resulted in a final contested by Upminster Junior and Ardleigh Green with Upminster retaining their trophy from 2014.
Mention must be made of staff and students who assisted to ensure the smooth running of the day. The Campion boys did a fantastic job of refereeing the 170 matches with virtually no break and Angela Hill (Campion) and Shona Barrett (Coopers) worked tirelessly for 4 and a half hours to keep the schedule of games on time.
The Havering Sports Collective are very dependent on the volunteers and students who regularly give up their time to assist at competitions and festivals. Without their support the competition calendar would have to be dramatically reduced and there would not be the wealth of opportunities now available to the children in Havering Schools. Although it is difficult to name every individual on every match report our thanks should not be underestimated.
Our thanks too goes to May and Baker RFC who hosted the event, particularly the grounds man who marked the pitches for us and also the committee members who supported us throughout the day. The transition from school sport to club sport can often be difficult for young people so by using club facilities we hope to close this gap.
Photos of the day can be seen in the primary gallery.