Top England Players Surprise Redingensian Rams Minis

Top England Players Surprise Redingensian Rams Minis

When Rams Youth Chairman, Bill Gornall-King, signed the Old Mutual Kids First pledge last March little did he know it would result in a surprise visit from three top England players.

Courtney Lawes, fresh from the huge win against Fiji the previous day, Jonny May and Tom Wood secretly arrived at the club on Sunday 20th November whilst all the children were training.

The England Players were invited by sponsors Old Mutual Wealth to promote Kids First Rugby, a pioneering approach to rugby for 6-13 year olds where children will learn rugby skills and build confidence in a fun environment.  The focus is on the children and giving them equal opportunity and encouragement on the pitch.

The players arrived and changed into their white England kit ready to spring the surprise on the children. They then walked out onto the field whilst the children were gathered around the coaches.  They trained with all the sections for over an hour, taking part in fun sessions with the space hopper and running and passing the ball.  It was great to see the children running around and enjoying their rugby with their England heroes

The England players were then asked to select 3 children who epitomised the Kids First values;

From the under 10’s this was Aidan Pugh; for under 11: Finley Hanham and Under 12: Tom Lynskey.

They were presented with green old mutual laces which they can were to show they are committed to having fun and enjoy their rugby.

Rams Rugby meet England Players

Rams Rugby meet England Players

Mark Pett-Ridge is the  Rams mini manager and was responsible for implementing the approach and last season ran the Minis Rugby festival along those principles.  The kids were awarded prizes for ‘Most attractive rugby’ and ‘Fair Play .  He said ‘At Rams we want children to enjoy their rugby and the Kids First approach helps do that.

Bill Gornall-King, Rams Youth Chairman said. “The Kids First Approach aligns perfectly with our well-established player-centric Core skills development programme.  It went incredibly well on Sunday.  Rams children, parents and coaches really demonstrated that the Kids First approach works”

Gary Reynolds, Rams CEO, said ‘ It’s fantastic having England players showing parents and players that rugby is first and foremost about having fun.  Courtney, Tom and Jonny were wonderful ambassadors for the game and the RFU excellent project.’

Kids First FAQ’s http://www.englandrugby.com/my-rugby/players/kids-first-rugby/faq/

Kids First Values

  • Put children at the heart of everything we do and all the decisions we make.
  • Encourage fun on the pitch, through equal opportunity and realistic expectations of our children.
  • Build the skills of our adults to provide a safe, healthy, respectful and enjoyable environment for kids.
  • Develop children’s confidence and character as players and people.
  • Champion rugby’s Core Values, inspiring a lifelong bond between children, adults and our sport.