Hundreds of youngsters enjoy Woodbridge Rugby Club U7-12 Festival

Action from the Woodbridge Rugby Club U7-12 Festival. Pictures: SIMON BALLARD

Action from the Woodbridge Rugby Club U7-12 Festival. Pictures: SIMON BALLARD - Credit: Archant

More than 1,200 young players took to the field for the ninth Woodbridge Rugby Club under 7-12 Festival.

Now a regular fixture for local junior teams, the club, home of the Woodbridge Warriors and Amazons senior teams, made maximum use of their Bromeswell pitches as games continued from 10.30am until 3.30pm.

Action from the Woodbridge Rugby Club U7-12 Festival. Pictures: SIMON BALLARD

Action from the Woodbridge Rugby Club U7-12 Festival. Pictures: SIMON BALLARD - Credit: Archant

Youth squads with players as young as six took part, with teams travelling from Chelmsford, Bury St Edmunds, North Walsham, Sudbury, Southwold, Ipswich, Colchester, Harwich & Dovercourt, Mersea, Felixstowe and Woodbridge to play.

Action from the Woodbridge Rugby Club U7-12 Festival. Pictures: SIMON BALLARD

Action from the Woodbridge Rugby Club U7-12 Festival. Pictures: SIMON BALLARD - Credit: Archant

Rob Simpson, Woodbridge chairman, said: “We are thrilled our U7-U12 Rugby Festival has been so well supported yet again.

Action from the Woodbridge Rugby Club U7-12 Festival. Pictures: SIMON BALLARD

Action from the Woodbridge Rugby Club U7-12 Festival. Pictures: SIMON BALLARD - Credit: Archant

“We have had children attend from a wide of range of clubs across East Anglia and in times when people tend to be focused on elite sport it is refreshing to feel the atmosphere at Woodbridge, where children who are starting their rugby journeys have the chance to play festival rugby.

Action from the Woodbridge Rugby Club U7-12 Festival. Pictures: SIMON BALLARD

Action from the Woodbridge Rugby Club U7-12 Festival. Pictures: SIMON BALLARD - Credit: Archant

“I pay tribute to all of the coaches and parents who made the trip, to the players who played with such spirit and in particular to the long list of volunteers at Woodbridge who helped to organise and run such a thoroughly enjoyable event.”

Action from the Woodbridge Rugby Club U7-12 Festival. Pictures: SIMON BALLARD

Action from the Woodbridge Rugby Club U7-12 Festival. Pictures: SIMON BALLARD - Credit: Archant

Junior Chairman Alex Brigginshaw added: “I would like to thank our sponsors Woodbridge School and volunteers Steve Wilding, Oliver Johnson and all involved, especially previous organisers Helen and Jon Wakeling, whose advice helped us get the festival running so smoothly.

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“I was approached by half a dozen coaches from the other clubs to thank us for a fantastic festival.”

Mersea Island RFC president Colin Morgan said his club were hugely impressed with the day.

He added: “As much as we enjoyed the festival as coaches and parents, the real measure of success is judged by the reaction of the children, and I am happy to pass on that we left with a club full of very happy children after a great day’s rugby.

“I’m sure the pizza and ice cream stands didn’t in any way add to this!”

Woodbridge Rugby Club has a growing youth membership of some 370 boys and girls – the largest in the area.

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