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Hundreds of youngsters are given the chance to become rising rugby stars

Hundreds of local youngsters are being given the opportunity to become rising rugby stars because of an initiative by Southport Rugby Club - which is aimed at getting more young people involved in sport.

Funding from Fletcher’s Solicitors, Sport England and Southport RFC have made this happen therefore primary and secondary school children in Southport and also Formby are getting the opportunity to train with professional coaches over the course of a number of weeks.

Pupils have the opportunity to take part in rugby skills sessions as part of their school’s curriculum and also in extra curricular clubs. Schools located around the local area can then compete against each other and put their training to the test at the Rugby Festival, which is held at Southport Rugby Club.

The community coaching scheme which was launched in November, currently employs three community coaches who are working with schools across Southport and Formby.

Boys coaching takes place at Bishop David Sheppard, Kew Woods, Birkdale High, St Johns in Ainsdale and also Holy Trinity. Girls coaching is at Formby High, Greenbank and Meols Cop in the coming months.

One of the community coaches involved with the scheme is James Bailey. He said: “It’s been a real privilege to be part of this scheme and I’m proud to see how many children have thrown themselves into the sport.

“A key focus for us is to attract more girls into rugby and this has been really successful so far. Our girls rugby festival, which took place earlier this year, saw 100 players competing at the club."

“It was brilliant to see so many girls getting involved and we’re hoping to recruit even more young people next year, while also hiring more community coaches to keep expanding the scheme. We’re looking forward to hosting another big festival in the spring time.”

Ed Fletcher, CEO of Fletchers Solicitors, said: “We’re really proud to support Southport RFC’s community coaching initiative. We know how beneficial sport can be for health, wellbeing and community spirit, so to see how successful the scheme has been so far is fantastic. We look forward to cheering the teams on in next year’s rugby festivals, which are set to be bigger and better than ever.”

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