Some 526 children gathered in Orkney this month for a major Primary Schools Tag Festival. In total 18 schools took part from the mainland, north and Inner isles which involved a lot of travel and organisation from all participants.
There were two different formats for the day with a Festival of Tag Rugby taking place consisting of 40 teams who all played a round robin and also a Tag Tournament which consisted of 20 teams who played a first and second round of games giving a total of 13 pitches being used at any one time.
All the players were keen to show off their skills and did not disappoint with structured team defences, strong attacking play and much improved running onto the ball and support play which was a work-on area within curriculum time Tag rugby in the schools. Throughout the whole day the players worked very well together with a clear understanding of the laws and respect for the opposition and referee.
Orkney RFC development officer Bruce Ruthven said: “We’ve all had a cracking day with teams showing a real appetite for Tag rugby and displaying some quality games throughout the festival and tournament.
“Once again the schools have shown great commitment to be here today with a lot of travelling and even an overnight stay for Sanday School. The standard has been exceptional and continues to develop each year.
“Thanks to the volunteer workforce with students from Kirkwall Grammar School and Stromness Academy being present along with the club volunteers. Many thanks to CashBack for Communities and Scottish Rugby for their continued financial support towards the festival.”
Head teacher, Rosemary Newton added: “Many thanks to Bruce Ruthven and his enormous army of helpers- young and old alike- all sharing a passion for rugby and a determination to encourage youngsters to get involved. Who else organises an event for 500 children at once?
“It was superbly organised and went like clockwork... again. The Tag rugby event is testament to the commitment of Orkney Rugby Club to develop players from an early age”.
Stromness P.S. head teacher, Neil McIntosh noted: “The games were very even throughout with some really close matches. Pupils were encouraged by each other and the match officials who helped the games run smoothly and fairly. I was very impressed with the standard of play once more.
“The pupils seem to be more and more engaged and experienced as these festivals come around. The highlight for me was the way the teams included everyone and the encouragement from each other was tremendous.
“Once again a fantastic organised event with a really great flow to the day. Thanks to all those who helped make the day such a success. Well done.”
Our picture is courtesy of Ken Amer.