Mini-rugby, major success

On a cold, crisp Saturday morning a week and a half before Christmas – when most people are resting in bed after the working week or recovering from Christmas parties the night before – Creggs Rugby Club is alive and  buzzing.   I went there to see the mini-rugby revolution that is currently ongoing at the club – and it was mightily impressive indeed.   It was ten-past eleven when I got there and already there were over 100 young lads between the ages of 7 and 14 out on the two fields at the Green – all being put through their paces by at least twenty coaches dotted around the grounds.   Creggs club secretary Sean Brandon met me at the gate and chief coach Ger Dowd patrolled the different groups, making sure everything was going well. What came across very clearly was that every single young lad was getting to handle the ball and they all seemed to be really enjoying the coaching sessions.   Sean Brandon explained that there was a few coaches for each group – from U-8’s straight through to U-14’s – with no more than 20 players in each group.    ‘There is great enthusiasm among the young lads and it’s nice to see them out playing sport regardless of what it is’ Sean commented.   The players come from almost every town in the catchment area. ‘We have players from Roscommon town, Strokestown, Casterea, Ballygar, Glenamaddy, Williamstown and all the other local towns and villages.    ‘We start at U-8’s, with the basic skills, and we play a few blitzs at that level with clubs like Athlone, Dunmore and Monivea. It’s great fun