YOUNG people from around the world are set to travel to Coventry to compete at a major international tag rugby youth festival.
The first Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) International Tag Rugby Youth Festival will begin this Friday (tomorrow) and last a week with an action-packed programme of activities and events, culminating with a tag rugby 7’s tournament at the Ricoh Arena.
The event has been organised by the Engage! programme, an educational rugby initiative that uses the core values of the game, teamwork, respect, integrity, enjoyment and discipline, to help develop healthy, well-rounded, confident young people.
The festival will bring together teams from Paris, New York, Kampala, Brazil and Coventry and celebrate the Rugby World Cup 2015.
The children aged between 13 and 15 will partner with four schools in the city, Caludon Castle School, Coundon Court School, Stoke Park School and Westwood Academy.
They will then spend the week exploring the city and taking part in a variety of tag rugby training sessions to perfect their skills ahead of the tournament – supported by four local rugby clubs Barker Butts, Pinley, Earlsdon and Old Coventrians.
A sporting values conference will also be held in partnership with the British Council and the Youth Sport Trust, and will aim to use rugby and its values to unite the schoolchildren and encourage them to have a greater understanding and appreciation of cultural differences.
The students will also get the opportunity to watch Wasps take on Samoa at a Rugby World Cup warm-up match at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday, September 5 and the Coventry Blaze at their home game against Fife on Sunday, September 6.
Tom Clift, programme manager at Engage!, said: “We are really excited to welcome the international teams to Coventry and to host an action-packed week of educational and sporting events with our own local schools and rugby clubs embracing the core values of the game.
“It is the first time a major international youth tag rugby tournament has been held in Coventry and we can’t wait to show off the city’s rich rugby heritage and celebrate the fact that the Rugby World Cup is taking place in England this year.
“The festival allows young people from various communities to build new friendships and come away with a wider understanding and acceptance of cultural differences.
“A key part of the programme is to also build strong links and create on-going sustainable partnerships with all those involved to enable future tournaments to be staged again in Coventry or hosted by other international teams celebrating the RWC in future four year cycles.”
For further information and to keep up to date follow @EngageCoventry on twitter.