International Tag Rugby Youth Festival kicks-off in Coventry

The first Jaguar Land Rover International Tag Rugby Youth Festival kicked off in Coventry last Friday and will run until this Friday.

Four international teams from New York, Kampala, Brazil and Paris have been invited to join schoolchildren from Coventry for an action-packed programme of activities to celebrate the Rugby World Cup 2015 and embrace the core values of the game.

The children, aged between 13 and 15, will spend the week exploring the city and taking part in a variety of tag rugby training sessions to perfect their skills ahead of the big finale – a tag rugby 7s tournament being held at the Ricoh Arena on Thursday, September 10.

A sporting values conference will also be held in partnership with the British Council and will aim to use rugby and its values to unite the schoolchildren and encourage them to have a greater understanding and appreciation of cultural differences through sport.

The young rugby fans have also had the chance to watch an array of live sporting action in Coventry over the weekend with the Wasps v Samoa game at the Ricoh Arena, followed by Coventry Bears Rugby League game against London Skolars and the first ice hockey game of the season for Coventry Blaze as they took on Fife.

Tom Clift, programme manager of Engage!, said: “We are delighted to welcome over 100 young people to the city for this inaugural event as we bring rugby fans from all over the world together to celebrate one of the biggest tournaments in the sporting calendar.

“This is only the beginning of what we hope to achieve in Coventry. By establishing strong partnerships locally and worldwide, we are aiming to build a long-lasting rugby community which engages more people into the sport through future events both here and abroad.”

Nick Eastwood, Wasps’ deputy chairman said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to involve young people in the game. We hope they enjoyed the atmosphere and excitement of attending a live match and will also relish the experience of playing on the Ricoh Arena pitch this week.”

Coventry schools taking part in the festival include Caludon Castle School, Coundon Court School, Stoke Park School and Westwood Academy.