Old Leamingtonians host biggest ever rugby festival

Date: 10 Oct 2018

Old Leamingtonians Rugby Club are celebrating after hosting their biggest ever rugby festival.

Around 1,000 of the region’s up-and-coming rugby players flocked to The Crofts last weekend for the club’s tenth Mini Festival, which saw 95 teams from U7s to U12s take part in a mini rugby festival.

Wasps players Jimmy Gopperth, Alex Rieder and Antonio Harris took time out to chat with families and sign autographs at the ground on Bericote Road, which is earmarked to become Wasps’ permanent training base.

Lucas Wager, Chairman of Old Leamingtonians’ Mini and Junior section, hailed the event as a massive success, which was sponsored by property developers Cassidy Group.

“The day was a fantastic celebration of how bright the future is for rugby in our region,” Wager said.

“Everywhere you looked there were children playing rugby with smiles on their faces and being cheered on by their parents – it is events like this that make the countless hours of coaching and volunteering extremely rewarding and worthwhile.

“It was brilliant to welcome Jimmy, Alex and Antonio to Old Leamingtonians – it’s not very often young players get the opportunity to meet professional players of such high calibre so we’re very grateful to Wasps for their support.

“I’d also like to extend a big thank you to all of the volunteers who helped to make the event a massive success – without them we couldn’t have achieved our biggest festival to date.”

Gopperth visited the festival as he continues his recovery from an anterior cruciate ligament injury and added: “It’s always interesting visiting events like this to see what talent is on display, and there was tonnes of it.

“As players we know first-hand how important it is that youngsters are given the opportunity to pursue an interest in a sport such as rugby, and this festival showed just how much great work is being done in communities across the region.

“A lot of the players, myself included, live locally to Leamington so it was great to say hello and familiarise ourselves with the great community spirit at Old Leamingtonians RFC.”