At Cheltenham College Prep there is a new ethos in Lower School Rugby. The main focus will now be on festivals – lots of short matches with no scores being kept – followed by pizza for everyone. At the recent festival the only focus of the morning was learning the game and having fun and it was a resounding success.
Every child in Year 4 and Year 3 from Cheltenham Prep, Dean Close, Beaudesert, Prior Park, St John’s and the Downs came to College and found themselves playing 5 matches over the morning. It was the perfect way for 250 boys to begin their rugby careers and we hope the festival will become a highlight of the regular fixture card. The morning revolved around 3 different festivals - an U8 tag rugby festival for mixed ability teams, an U9A festival for those who have taken to contact rugby very quickly and an U9 Open festival for mixed ability teams.
What was clear to see was the obvious progression made by every child in the two hours of rugby – the early matches were bunched up, messy and low in skill. By the final matches of the morning there was outstanding play taking place on every one of the nine pitches.
Headmaster Jonathan Whybrow spoke to the boys and parents at the end of the festival, telling them “this has to be the way ahead… lots of rugby, competitive and supportive, enthusiastic and constructive parents and no need to travel for hours on a coach. My congratulations to all for making this inaugural festival such a success.” Special thanks must go the groundstaff and catering team for their hard work to make the day possible.