The BRFC Mini Section is recognised as one of the most successful in Ulster and has gone from strength to strength in recent years. Last season saw 250 players registered and actively taking part in training and or games across the province, England and Scotland. The section caters of both boys and girls from P1 right through to P7’s and last season saw the continuing development of an U’12 category something that will no doubt benefit those kids who do not go to rugby playing schools.
The ethos of mini rugby is to foster and develop young players (boys & girls) of all abilities in the game of rugby in a safe, non competitive, enjoyable environment through activities which ensure progressive skill development for all participants in line with the IRFU Long Term Player Development (LTPD) pathway, Child Welfare Policy and Traditions of Rugby Union.
The coaching team at Ballymena blends the experience of past and present players with enthusiastic parents who are keen to learn about the game themselves and have their own kids involved.
The various festivals such as Maxol and participating at half-time at Ulster games is providing the young boys and girls with a great opportunity to showcase their skills to peer’s and Ulster rugby fans. The P7’s had a great trip to Scotland in April. The U’10 and U’8’s attended the London Irish 7 Nations festival and the two U’10’s sides won the cup and plate competitions and the U’8’s competed admirably despite having to play the unusual tag format.
Away from playing the section has also encouraged the kids and their parents to get involved socially with trips to the Aviva to watch Ireland v Italy in last season Six Nations. The social side to the game is recognised as a great way of getting to know all the kids and parents and an opportunity to raise much needed funds to sustain and continue to develop the section. It is also a good way to get the players and their parents involved with the other parts of the club. The club is very keen to see the Mini, Youth and Senior sections working together to create a successful club environment on and off the pitch.
The pinnacle of the mini rugby season is our own Festival that has grown into one of the largest and best attended in the province and this year over 1,400 players participated on the day. It was a great day all round.
We look forward to building on our success and seeing all the kids and parents back in 2016/17 season.
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