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Another successful Havering Tag Rugby School Games Competition and Festival with St Joseph’s booking spot in final of London Youth Games

PUBLISHED: 08:15 04 November 2016

Schools across Havering taking part in a tag rugby competition at the May & Baker grounds

Schools across Havering taking part in a tag rugby competition at the May & Baker grounds

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Havering Sports Collective’s Sharon Phillips full of praise for parents and May & Baker for hosting brilliant tournament for youngsters in the Borough

Schools across Havering taking part in a tag rugby competition at the May & Baker grounds. Scotts v Clockhouse school Schools across Havering taking part in a tag rugby competition at the May & Baker grounds. Scotts v Clockhouse school

The Havering Tag Rugby School Games Competition and Festival took place at May & Baker yesterday with over 30 primary schools taking part and hundreds of parents in attendance.

Although it was chilly, the weather stayed fine for the pupils with the sun shining from the morning all the way into the afternoon.

Whoever won the School Games Competition knew they would go on to represent Havering in the London Youth Games in 2017, while the triumphant team in the Festival was able to play the maximum amount of matches and lift some silverware at the end.

Several schools fielded two teams with one in each tournament as volunteers from Barking & Dagenham College’s Rugby Academy and Campion Sixth Form refereed the games.

Schools across Havering taking part in a tag rugby competition at May & Baker (pic: Ken Mears). Schools across Havering taking part in a tag rugby competition at May & Baker (pic: Ken Mears).

Hornchurch’s Benhurst Primary enjoyed themselves and showed their talent by reaching the final of both events.

But it was Upminster’s St Joseph Primary who won the School Games Competition to book their spot at the finals of the London Youth Games.

St Edward’s, from Romford, won the Festival, but rugby was the real winner with hundreds of children from the borough taking part.

Scott Murphy, part of the Cranham & Upminster Locality Rugby Project, was delighted with the day. He said: “It’s been a good turn out. We’ve had 31 or 32 schools turn up from across the borough with year five and year six pupils.

Schools across Havering taking part in a tag rugby competition at the May & Baker grounds.  St Edwards v James Oglethorpe Schools across Havering taking part in a tag rugby competition at the May & Baker grounds. St Edwards v James Oglethorpe

“What has been pleasing is the format, in terms of the rules, had changed this year so we were going into unchartered territory. We didn’t know how it would pan out or go down, but everyone has responded to it really well.

“The teachers have been superb and supported the referees, who are learning as well, so from that point of view it has been good.

“May & Baker has been great and they’ve put all the pitches out and opened up the kitchen, which helps them as well with some extra revenue behind the shutters as such, so it keeps them ticking over.”

Sharon Phillips, of Havering Sports Collective, played her part in organising another brilliant event for the local pupils.

Schools across Havering taking part in a tag rugby competition at the May & Baker grounds.  St Edwards v James Oglethorpe Schools across Havering taking part in a tag rugby competition at the May & Baker grounds. St Edwards v James Oglethorpe

And she paid tribute to the parents involved who also have a huge role in helping the day run smoothly at May & Baker.

Phillips said: “A lot of primary schools can’t afford to pay for transport so without parents taking a day off it would almost be impossible to get the kids here.

“I always thank the mums and dads and give them a round of applause because we couldn’t do it without them.”

While the event is over now for another year, the countdown starts for St Joseph’s who will go on to the finals of the London Youth Games.

The St Mary’s Lane School will have a chance to shine at Europe’s largest youth sports festival next year, with Murphy adding: “St Joseph’s have gone through to the London Youth Games at Crystal Palace and will represent Havering.

“It’s a good opportunity for the kids to go and showcase themselves on a bigger scale compared to this event.”

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