Rugby youngsters prove they are in a league of their own

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More than 500 youngsters shrugged off the rain to take part in the Alnwick Festival of Rugby at the weekend.

Alnwick RFC hosted the festival at Greensfield, where six to nine-year-olds played with teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship.

Alnwick Rugby Club mini rugby tournament Alnwick U8s v Gateshead U8s. Picture by Adam Sparrow

Alnwick Rugby Club mini rugby tournament Alnwick U8s v Gateshead U8s. Picture by Adam Sparrow

Teams from all over Northumberland, Tyneside, County Durham and the Scottish Borders took part, the U9s in their first year of contact rugby and the U8s and U7s playing tag rugby on smaller pitches.

Alan Gardiner, Alnwick’s vice-chairman of mini-rugby, said: “The aim is to focus on the development of key skills, teamwork and most importantly enjoyment. There were plenty of smiles on faces despite the weather with some dripping wet players complaining to me after the last game that I refereed that there wasn’t any more rugby! Just what you want to hear and great news for the future of rugby in our area.

“There was some fantastic feedback from other clubs about how much they enjoyed the event as a great way to round off a busy season meeting old and new friends alike, and how much they always look forward to visiting Alnwick and the warm welcome that they receive.”

Pictures in the slideshow by Adam Sparrow