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Spotlight on the junior section at Spalding Rugby Club

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Spalding Rugby Club are attracting more than 150 youngsters each weekend to training and playing matches.

Youngsters are divided up into age groups and play modified rules which reflect their age and physical development.

The youngest players play a tag rugby game because there is no physical contact permitted until the under 9 age group when the players are coached to tackle correctly by RFU qualified coaches.

Under 6s' warming up. (54813788)
Under 6s' warming up. (54813788)

There is a gradual introduction of all physical contact so that youngsters are trained to understand the correct and safe way to play the game.

The club junior coaches are parents of players - all of whom must be DBS checked and are also First Aid qualified.

Many already have a level one RFU coaching qualification - more will attend courses as Covid restrictions allow.

The Under 10s in training. (54813784)
The Under 10s in training. (54813784)

There are about 15 fixtures against local clubs during the season, both home and away and games are played in a friendly semi-competitive environment.

If there are unevenly matched teams they will swap players so that everyone gets some enjoyment from the game.

Club mini/junior co-ordinator Peppa Saunders said: “As a parent myself I want children to enjoy playing with their friends and in games to enjoy a safe competitive environment.

Under 13 preparations. (54813792)
Under 13 preparations. (54813792)

“However much we protect our children from competition, it is something they will experience in life and so where better to experience it but in the safe, organised environment of a local sports field.

“The club promotes the ethos of respect and teamwork and in addition players make friends for life, get fit and have fun.”

Following on from a hard-fought loss to away to Stamford last week, Spalding Under 16s picked themselves up and offered a great display of running rugby in a 52-0 win against Deepings on Sunday.

Spalding Under 16s. (54813786)
Spalding Under 16s. (54813786)

With a near full-strength squad, albeit with some players playing out of position, Spalding were attacking Deeping’s try line within minutes of kick-off and scored through strong running from Alfie Lewis.

Spalding continued to make use of the wind and, with a pack that was dominating the opposition, manged to score further tries from Matt Stone, Jack Grundy, Lucas Drew and Alfie Lewis.

James Holland produced a superb performance with the boot and was able to convert the tries in very testing conditions.

In the second half, Deepings to their credit continued to offer resistance to Spalding and at no time allowed their heads to drop and with the wind behind them were able to exert some pressure and test the Spalding defence.

However, the defence stood firm and further tries from Sam Christie and Ronnie Crowfoot meant Spalding passed the 50 point mark with no reply leading to the end of the official game.

Again, with a classy show of sportsmanship from Deepings, they agreed to continue playing to complete the time so that all the lads could get a full run out.

Spalding added a further two tries in this period and were able to show their skills in the offload and keeping the ball alive.

This team performance shows the potential there is at the junior end of the club and many of these players will be eligible to play senior rugby in a few seasons time.

If anyone is interested in playing in the Under 16s or would like to train they would be more than welcome.

The team is made up of the current school years of Year 10 and 11. If you are interested please contact Peppa Saunders.

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