Saracens Foundation’s Rugby 4 Life project has restarted with 6 events after nearly 18 months away due to the Covid 19 Pandemic.

The rugby festivals restarted in full force with two events being held at Letchworth RFC, working alongside the always helpful Herts Sports Partnership. The first festival on September 28th started with some excellent work by the year ten students of The Knights Templar school, who provided 13 sports leaders to help officiate and time keep. With schools arriving and the excitement building, the games kicked off and there was some fantastic rugby on display from the 236 year 5/6 students.

This trend followed on festival day 2 with again 214 year 3/4 students, this time the sports leaders being provided by The Priory school in Hitchin.

The Saracens Foundation started their own festivals with a back to back event held at Welwyn RFC. Over the two days the festivals saw over 280 children getting involved, with many students expressing an interest in playing rugby full time either at Welwyn RFC or at a rugby club closer to home. Alongside this we had 18 fantastic sports leaders being trained by our Saracens Foundation coaches at Monks Walk school in Welwyn.

The last of the Rugby 4 Life festivals were held at Harpenden RFC and Hertford RFC respectively. With these festivals, we experimented with a new format so that teams could enter in to either “aspire and develop” or “compete” festivals. Splitting the festival in this way meant that schools who have little-to-no rugby experience have the chance to play against teams that are at a similar level to them. This opens the door for students who have not played the game before and gives them the opportunity to play for the school. The “compete” festival is aimed at schools/ players who have played rugby for some time and are looking for that harder challenge. For Hertford we also ran two new styles with small and rural schools being entered in to their own competition with medium and large schools in their own.

There was a lot of great rugby on display, and it was a real pleasure to see young people back playing some sport after a long 18 months without. This was seconded by some staff members who attended the festivals with their schools: 

Good fun with no pressure, friendly play”- Teacher who attended Harpenden Festival.

 “Some children played today who had never represented the school before” Teacher who attended Harpenden festival.

 “Learned good skills such as teamwork and sportsmanship”– Teacher who attended Welwyn festival.

As a result of these festivals, we have been able to engage with 1173 students, 73 sports leaders and 3 rugby clubs.

All of this wouldn’t have been possible with the help of the school games organisers, Hertford, Harpenden and Welwyn rugby clubs, and lastly the teachers and students that attended the festivals and made them so enjoyable.