Gallery: Thousands compete in Colchester RFC Mini Rugby Festival

Hadleigh, in burgundy and white, and Ipswich YM, in burgundy and yellow, play a match in the Under 1

Hadleigh, in burgundy and white, and Ipswich YM, in burgundy and yellow, play a match in the Under 12 category at the Colchester RFC Mini Rugby Festival at Colchester’s Mill Road ground on Sunday 22 March. - Credit: Su Anderson

Thousands of youngsters from across Suffolk and Essex took part in the 35th Colchester RFC Mini Rugby Festival at the club’s Mill Road Ground on Sunday, with more than 100 teams competing.

The annual event, organised by Colchester Rugby Football Club (RFC), featured 114 teams competing from 10 clubs across the region, with children aged from seven to 12 all taking part in their respective pools, in an effort to promote and support local junior rugby.

Players from Bury St Edmunds, Harwich, Ipswich, Ipswich YM, Hadleigh, Stowmarket, Bishops Stortford, Sudbury and Woodbridge all joined the hosts Colchester, in what has become one of the biggest rugby events on the calendar for young teams in East Anglia.

Festival manager Jack Hedley said: “It’s fantastic. We have got 28 pitches on the go and lots of kids playing lots of matches.

“We wanted mixed ability teams so it is inclusive, and every child gets to play a minimum of four games so it has that festival feel.”


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More than 4,000 spectators were on hand to cheer their sides on.

Mr Hedley also paid tribute to the volunteers who helped throughout the day, and added: “We have been fortunate with the weather and it’s lovely to see so many competitors.”

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