Children enjoy rugby experience
- Credit: Archant
Millwall look to make their mark in World Cup year
Enthusiasm, hard work and the sheer love of rugby were on display from hundreds of children at a special open day at Millwall Rugby Club.
More than 500 youngsters, from 12 local schools, descended on the club for the event, organised to raise the profile of the club and capitalise on the growing interest in the game as Rugby World Cup 2015 looms ever larger on the horizon.
The boys and girls, all from the Tower Hamlets area, took part in inclusive rugby sessions run by Millwall coaches and senior players.
There was also support from RFU Community Coaches and the Tower Hamlets Youth Sports Foundation, who kindly gave their time for free to help with the smooth running of a fantastic event.
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Millwall currently has 50 junior players between the ages of two and 12 and its aim is to expand the junior section and become even more of a focus point of their local community.
Millwall RFC youth chairman Scott Vinnicombe said: “We are so determined to capitalise as a club on the interest in the game as a result of the World Cup this year. You can see here that there is an incredible appetite already.
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“Organising 500 kids has been challenging, but incredibly rewarding. It’s also strengthened our links with local schools and it shows them what a great club we have at Millwall.
“Most importantly, it’s just brilliant to see so many kids enjoying playing rugby. We hope to make people realise that there is a rugby club here with opportunities for everybody, whether it be playing or volunteering.
“We really feel the club has a unique opportunity this year to become the heartbeat of the community and be part of a lasting legacy from the Rugby World Cup.”
Millwall RFC was formed after two local men were inspired by watching Rob Andrew’s infamous drop goal to beat Australia in the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
Now, 20 years after that conversation in a pub on The Isle of Dogs, the club is looking forward to this year’s tournament and the boost it could potentially give Millwall RFC and the local community.
Bradley Waller, PE co-ordinator at Sir John Cass Foundation Primary School who attended the event, added: “We’d like to thank the club for inviting the children here, you can see their enthusiasm for the game.
“We understand the values of rugby – teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline, sportsmanship - and the boys and girls could really benefit from playing regularly at a club like Millwall.“