© JOHN BRANNEN - THE NEWS
Today was the final day of a summer-long rugby training camp for kids. Watch for the story later...
NEW GLASGOW – It’s been a successful summer for youth wanting to learn more about rugby in Pictou County.
Every Saturday from 9 – 10 a.m. this summer, about 40 youth participated in friendly training practice. If you’re thinking they were tackling each other every weekend, it wasn’t the case.
The youth played tag rugby, a non-contact team game in which each player wears a belt that has two Velcro tags attached to it, or shorts with Velcro patches.
Graham Hayden, a member of the Pictou County Rugby Club with 16 years of experience, said this was the first year for the program.
“We received a grant from Rugby Canada to put on this program,” said Hayden. “It supports the youth and the sport in Pictou County.”
The youth were divided into two age groups and while the younger kids learned the basics, the older ones put their newly learned skills to work with playing rugby games.
Bauer Brophy, 8, said he had a great summer and would be back next year.
“I really improved my skills and made new friends too,” he said
One of the aims of the program is to ensure that there will be a new crop of rugby players for the men and women’s teams in the future.
“We want to do what the soccer leagues have been able to do and develop an interest in the sport at a young age,” said Hayden. “After this summer, I can definitely see there’s a lot of talent out there.”
He also noted it was great to see so many girls participating in the program.
“All the kids were fantastic,” he said. “I’ve got two little ones at home but it was quite different than a group of 40 kids.”
Hayden is hoping that more youth will participate in the youth rugby program next summer and said there are already parents hoping to get involved as volunteers.
On Twitter: @NGNewsJohn