Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Exmouth RFC’s Imperial Ground played host to almost 2,000 young rugby players last weekend.
Saturday morning launched a very busy time for the Cockles with 650 players aged between 7 and 12 in attendance for a festival meeting prior to the afternoon’s 1st XV national league fixture.
The following day that number was surpassed with an incredible 1,200 youngsters in another festival event that was played under Rugby Football Union guidelines to give all those involved maximum game time.
In addition to the playing numbers there were over 5,000 other people in and around the club at some stage, giving a welcome spin-off in additional trade to local shops, car parking and accommodation providers as many people were staying for the weekend in the town.
The largest contingent and the co-hosts of the Festival weekend were Farnham RFC from Surrey who pitched up with a party of 750!
Other visitors were in attendance from Kingswood and Clifton RFC in Bristol, Derby RFC and Old Lemingtonians RFC from Warwickshire.
There was also local representation in the shape of teams from Withycombe, Topsham, Sidmouth, Exeter Chiefs, Teignmouth, Torquay, Ivybridge, Taunton and of course Exmouth.
The ‘Cockles’ excelled themselves as hosts with a great club effort to cater for the needs of all who attended throughout the weekend.
Next on the Imperial Ground agenda in terms of youth rugby is an event on Sunday, April 22 when, from 1pm, there’s a ‘pitch up and play’ event for Girls Under-13 rugby.
Coaches will be on hand to give current players and those girls who fancy giving the sport a go advice and guidance.
At the end of then month, on Sunday, April 29, Exmouth host the Devon boys Under-13 Festival with 24 teams from across the county competing on the day.