It’s all go at Ashbrooke for Sunderland Rugby Club

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Youngsters are being invited to try their hand at rugby with special sessions at Sunderland Rugby Club.

The club is hosting a ‘pitch up and play’ event to reach out to future stars in school Years 7, 8 and 9.

England RFU community coaches have linked up with club coaches aim to provide a platform for secondary school pupils with no experience of rugby at a specially arranged coaching and playing session on Tuesday, October 18 from 4.30-5.30pm.

Free to attend, with food after and coaches on hand, the event is open to children of all abilities and builds on their work to promote women and girls rugby at the Ashbrooke club.

This month, World Cup-winning women’s rugby player Tamara Taylor hosted a similar event to boost the numbers of girls and women trying out rugby.

Chairman of Sunderland RFC, and coach of the women’s team, Paul Geehan said: “These events show how determined we are to promote the unique values of rugby in Sunderland. It truly is a game for all abilities.”

“The recent pitch up and play has already brought U13 and U15 girls to the club and we are hoping for the same success for the boys in Years 7, 8 and 9.”

For details on joining in on October 18, contact John Howe on 07745 846385 or ask your school PE teacher.

Meanwhile, Newcastle Falcons academy winger Dan Marshall touched down to give his own one-to-one coaching with Sunderland’s minis and junior teams at Ashbrooke.

The England Sevens winger handed out training tips and advice as part of the Falcons’ region-wide Playerblitz.

John Howe, of Sunderland RFC Mini and Juniors and U13s coach, said: “We had a fantastic response from the players and parents saying how much their children enjoyed the overall experience.

“It is the first step on the ladder to inspiring that next generation of players at our club to realise they can achieve what Dan, who started at a grassroots club, has.”

Sunderland RFC has officially been designated an 02 Touch centre.

Promoting the fun, social and non-contact version of rugby, Ashbrooke is the only 02 Touch north of Teesside and boasts 24 regular players of all ages and abilities.

Tony Hodgson, one of the club’s 02 Operators, said, “It’s great to get the recognition for what is a fun, social, active way of keeping fit through rugby.

“We are the only 02 Touch centre north of Teesside and welcome players from as far afield as Durham for our Monday night games.

“What is special about our sessions is how inclusive and fun they are. Anyone’s welcome to join in.”

The club have become recipients of the Old Mutual Wealth Kids First Rugby pledge, in recognition of its commitment in putting children first in the coaching and development of rugby.

The Kids First pledge recognises clubs nationally for among other things: developing children’s confidence and character, building a safe and healthy environment for children and championing rugby’s core values.

In the club’s results, Sunderland U13s shared a 17-try thriller with Gateshead at Ashbrooke, eventually running out 55-30 winners.

Zak Kennedy (five), Adam Williams (three), Bryson Robinson, Jack Taylor and Josh Jobling were among the scorers.

Sunderland U14s lost 48-19 at Gateshead, with Archie Elwell, Jacob Feeney and Ollie Beattie grabbing consolation tries for the Ashbrooke team.

The U16s went down 34-17 away to Gateshead, despite tries from Farai Chikumbirike, Brad Lindsay and Luke Carroll. Michael Holder added a conversion