14th June 2018, 09:47 | schools_rugby_league

How three parents got 48 kids playing Rugby League

How three parents got 48 kids playing Rugby League

The St Vincent's success story...

Damian Redpath founded an after school Rugby League team at St Vincent's Primary School in Penketh, Warrington, in 2016 alongside fellow parents Nick Hughes and Richie Eyres, and they have been on a remarkable journey over the past two years.

Damian takes up the story...

"In May 2016, three parents; myself, Nick Hughes and former professional player Richie Eyres spoke to the teachers at St. Vincent's RC school in Penketh to form an after school Rugby League team.

"The the school had already engaged in the Wolves tag festival at Crosfields and the kids loved it, so this was the next step.

"In targeting the Year 4 who would be entering Year 5 in the September was a deliberate act to help the school put a system in place to support the kids development in late Key Stage 2.

"Prior to this engagement, Rugby League was occasionally offered by the school without a firm offer for many years.

"The club has been nothing short of a success!"

The new after school club has engaged the following since May 2016:

  • 48 different children (including 9 girls) have attended sessions
  • 24 children have attended over 95 per cent of sessions
  • 29 different children (including 4 girls) have represented the school in inter school, tag and full contact games, plus tournaments
  • The team took part in four tournaments and played 22 games

"On instigating these sessions, there was only one child who had engaged with community Rugby League and the kids were mainly new to sport completely!

"And Richie has re-engaged with sport, becoming assistant coach at Crosfields under 11s Vipers team.

"While both Nick and I will be taking the next available Level 1 course to assist the community team

"Richie and I have already linked with St. Gregory's RC High to support the development of the year 7 Rugby League offer from September

"My re-engagement with Rugby League at both school and community settings has been nothing short of fantastic and the values and team work that it instils.

"How Rugby League develops confidence, self esteem, pride, team work, commitment, respect for peers, respect for officials is nothing short of amazing."