Rugby World Cup star watches Sussex youngsters’ tournament

ks1500521-9 Spt Youth Rugby phot kate SUS-151014-183728008
ks1500521-9 Spt Youth Rugby phot kate SUS-151014-183728008

Year 5 and 6 pupils enjoyed a World Cup-themed tag rugby tournament organised by the West Sussex West School Sport Partnership.

The event was moved from the summer to align with the Rugby World Cup and this paid off with the number of schools attending dramatically increasing.

The various countries’ flags marked the pitches and there was RWC bunting around the venue.

It was hosted at Bognor Rugby Club and coincided with a secondary school competition at the same time, using student referees from The Regis School, which was awarded status from the Youth Sport Trust as a Rugby World Cup 2015 Hub School.

The school has produced rugby ambassadors – young leaders – and a number of them refereed the tournament.

Twelve school teams competed to be crowned WSW champions, but both finalists will progress to the Sussex competition.

After dominating their pools, North Mundham and Westbourne primary schools clashed in the final. North Mundham triumphed.

The secondary tournament had five schools competing, with St Philip Howard coming out on top.

Ex-rugby pro Thinus Delport was the star guest. He played for Worcester and Gloucester and represented South Africa at a World Cup.

Delport led the closing ceremony and gave out prizes.

The primary event winners were given medals, certificates, mouth guards and a rugby ball signed by Delport.

There were awards given to teams who showed the rugby values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship. They too received a signed ball as well as wristbands.

Player of the tournament for the primary schools was Riley Thomas from North Mundham and the secondary star was Joshua Buckley from St Philip Howard.

School Sport Partnership manager Sean O’Connor said: “The standard of rugby was exceptional. However it was the values and respect the teams showed each other and to the officials that really stood out. All the children did their schools proud and I hope they continue this in all the sports competitions on offer throughout the academic year.”

Thanks went to hosts Bognor Rugby Club, the organisers and to participating schools – at secondary level, Felpham Community College, Ormiston Six Villages Acadmey, St Philip Howard, The Regis School & The Academy Selsey; at primary level, North Mundham, Westbourne, St Mary’s, Bishop Tufnell, Rose Green, Chichester Free School, South Bersted, Birdham, Bersted Green and Edward Bryant.

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