Borough Rugby Festival hailed a success

6th October 2015

Borough Rugby Festival hailed a success

Rugby teams from four west London boroughs pitted their skills against each other in a round-robin tournament at the home of Grasshoppers RFC.

Year 8 teams of girls and boys from Hounslow, Ealing, Richmond and Brent took part in the two tournaments, which were sponsored by Heathrow Airport and Hounslow Council.

Richmond triumphed in both inter-borough contests, which were overseen by England Rugby legend Maggie Alphonsi MBE on Thursday 1 October. The Rugby Football Union and Grasshoppers RFC provided match officials.

The Heathrow Festival of Rugby gave youngsters the chance to play on professional pitches, in what is hoped will become an annual tournament.

Maggie Alphonsi – whose playing style earned her the nickname Maggie the Machine – is one of four Rugby World Cup 2015 Ambassadors, along with Lawrence Dallaglio, Will Greenwood and Jonny Wilkinson. She was joined by Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council and John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive of Heathrow Airport to present the prizes.

Jacqui Bashford, who coached the winning Richmond girls’ team, said: "This was a really good event. The girls play rugby at school but it was really inspiring for them to play against students from other boroughs while the World Cup is on. The girls are in Year 8 now but hopefully they will want to keep on playing the game and will be able to come back for this tournament next year. I was pleased with how they played this time around.”

Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council, said: "Rugby World Cup 2015 is a fantastic opportunity for us to inspire people of all ages to become more active. We’ve set ourselves the target of making Hounslow the most active borough in London over the next seven years and events like the Heathrow Festival of Rugby will help young people to see how enjoyable sport can be. We hope to make this an annual competition and a lasting legacy of the World Cup.”

Following the Heathrow Festival of Rugby, adults played in a mixed-gender six-a-side tag-rugby tournament under flood-lighting. With Hounslow borough emerging victorious.

Mr Holland-Kaye said: "We’re delighted that we’re able to sponsor this great event for London’s next generation of rugby players in Heathrow’s backyard. Hounslow is part of our community and where many Heathrow colleagues live. We’ll continue to provide opportunities for young Londoners to fulfil their potential."

Courtesy of London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames News
RFU Accredited Club