Leeds Rhinos Foundation

Leeds Rhinos Foundation

Changing Lives Through Sport

u7s Touch Rugby teams
Winter Indoor Touch Rugby programme reaches successful conclusion
11 March 2019, 2:37
By Ben Hall
Leeds Rhinos Foundation completed their latest programme of Indoor Touch Rugby festivals on Saturday, with an under 7s competition at Football World Leeds.
As part of the Rugby League Development Plan, sponsored by Mears Group, the charity has delivered a series of Touch festivals throughout the winter months to more than 420 players from 21 community clubs, who are members of the Leeds Rhinos' Club Ambassadors Scheme. The festivals have catered for a wide range of junior teams- from u7s to u11s, mixed-gender sides and even two under 12s girls' tournaments.

Matches followed a five-a-side format, allowing players to improve key elements of their game, such as speed, agility, teamwork, communication and technique.

Sam Horner, Community Clubs Development Officer at Leeds Rhinos Foundation, said: "The overpowering feedback from coaches is that the skill level of their players has improved throughout the Indoor Touch Rugby Festivals. Coaches that have bought into the format are also seeing the benefits for those players in their squads that don't always get a good run on matchday, as they are gaining in confidence.

"We've been running these festivals for the last 11 years and we will continue to grow this format for the good of the game and development of players. Next year, we intend to roll out more Indoor Touch Rugby Festivals to older age groups as well."

Now into its eleventh year, the Indoor Touch Rugby programme has also been used to develop young referees, by introducing them to the festival format and allowing them take charge of younger age groups in readiness for the full 13-a-side game.

It is something that Super League referee Robert Hicks believes can be extremely beneficial at the start of their career.

"It's brilliant for young referees to come and enjoy working in such a good environment where there is no pressure and no bad crowd to contend with," said Hicks.

"These festivals provide them with a fantastic opportunity to go and gain valuable experience and they will undoubtedly get to learn a lot about themselves and how to become better referees."

Horner added: "It's all about development and promoting the upskilling of not only junior players, but referees too.

"We've been going for more than a decade now and it's one of my favourite programmes. We want coaches to see that it's great to play Indoor Touch and I would ask them to please buy into the programme because I know how beneficial it can be for their team."

For more information, email Sam.Horner@leedsrhinosfoundation.org, or click HERE to watch what happened at last year's u7s Indoor Touch Rugby festival.
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