Suffolk and Essex youngsters star in Colchester mini-rugby festival

A FANTASTIC 700 youngsters from across Suffolk and Essex have shown the strength of youth rugby at an action-packed tournament.

The spotlight fell on mini-rugby at Colchester RFU on Sunday when six clubs fielded a whopping 48 teams to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the festival.

Players as young as six got a taste of festival action which combined competition with enjoyment, according to Andy Wadling, chairman of mini rugby at Colchester.

Wadling said: “The festival went very well and the youngsters seemed to enjoy themselves. We see festival rugby as very important in the rugby development of children. There are always winners and, sadly, losers but our philosophy is not just about winning, but having fun and learning basic rugby skills.”

The home club, who have seen a year-on-year increase in youngster participation over the last six seasons, were joined by teams from Sudbury, Woodbridge, Stowmarket, Ipswich and Bishops Stortford in tournaments ranging from Under-7s to Under-12s.

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Showing the continued focus on youth rugby at various clubs, trophies were shared round with Colchester and Sudbury winning four tournaments and Woodbridge winning two and Ipswich runners-up in four competitions.

Wadling added: “We would like to thank all the clubs who took part in this year’s festival and for all the fantastic volunteers at Colchester who helped make it such a success.

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“We continue to run the festival on a free basis rather than charging each club as we just want to open up opportunities for youngsters to play rugby.”

The mini-rugby festival action falls on Ipswich (April 10) and Sudbury (April 17).

Roll of honour

Under-7s: Pool A winners Bishops Stortford; Runners-up Woodbridge.

Pool B winners Colchester Vikings; Runners-up Ipswich A.

Under-8s: Pool A winners Colchester Warriors; Runners-up Bishops Stortford.

Pool B winners Sudbury; Runners-up Ipswich A.

Under-9s: (league basis): Winners Sudbury; Runners-up Colchester Romans.

Under-10s: Cup (joint winners) Colchester A and Ipswich A.

Plate winners Sudbury runners up Woodbridge.

Under-11s: Cup Colchester A; Runners-up Ipswich A.

Plate tied Woodbridge and Sudbury.

Under-12s: (league basis): Winners Woodbridge; Runners-up Colchester A.

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