Young Alnwick players get set for trip to Japan for Rugby World Cup
Teenagers from Alnwick Rugby Club are gearing up for the trip of a lifetime.
The under-16 squad are heading to Japan later this month to take in the Rugby World Cup.
The idea was mooted two years ago to give the youngsters a trip to remember in their last year of junior rugby.
Coach Gavin Ellis explained: “Coming up to 10 years ago a bunch of six-year-old kids started playing rugby together at Alnwick RFC; this same bunch are now approaching 16 years of age and with umpteen hours of practice in, hundreds of matches and four tours under their belts they are into there last year of junior rugby before moving on to colts and the adult game.
“To mark this transition the idea of a big final tour was discussed, and a plan hatched to give them a trip to remember. Two years later and we are now a matter of weeks away from boarding the flight out to the Rugby World Cup in Tokyo, Japan.”
The week-long trip to coincide with the half-term holiday begins on October 25. Hotels have been booked, three matches with local teams organised and tickets secured for the 21-strong strong group of Year 11 pupils to watch the bronze final.
Gavin continued: “From the outset the boys agreed that this had to be a team effort and exclusive to all, so the cost had to be kept to a level that everyone could afford.
“To do this they set out an ambitious plan to try and raise the funding through hard work, and work they have, on farms working in the fields, clearing out chicken sheds, selling Christmas trees, sponsored walks, parties and pop up cafes.
“This, on top of some amazing donations from local and national businesses and charities, has allowed this opportunity of a lifetime to come to fruition.”
They would like to thank their sponsors and supporters, without whom the trip would not be possible: The Bill McLaren Foundation, Gallagher’s Risk management, Alnmouth Burgage Holders, Alnwick RFC, Eurosafe Solutions, Safety Fabrications, Seven Hills Fabrications, Direct Engineering, Prater, Red Lion Alnmouth, Landmarc Solutions, Storey and Edmondson Builders, John Manners, Frost Farm Services, Black Sheep Farm Health, Ribchester Accountants, Brian Lamb, S W Mahon, Percy Farmers Cricket Club, Alnwick Dance Academy, Bryden Haulage, Jobling Purser, Total Bitumen, Mr and Mrs R & B Thompson, Farm to Freeze, Doxford Barns, Victoria House Chippy, Costal Grains, Austin Banks, MSA, Simpsons Malt, Morris and Plumley, Lal Khazana, Lysetts, G W & Ayre, Braeside Farm, William Hackett, Terry Owen-Smith, Rowell Coaches, NCC Community Chest. And hundreds of individuals who have supported fundraising events.