Written by: Tom Benthall
Wakefield Wildcats have been visiting schools across the area, delivering their SkyTry Primary Rugby League Programme to children ahead of a tag rugby league festival on 2nd June.
The program spans across six weeks in each school, allowing the children time to develop their skills ahead of the festival, which takes place prior to kick-off of the Wildcats clash with Hull KR at Belle Vue Stadium.
The children have been learning the core skills of the game as part of the RFL’s Primary Rugby League scheme –which aims to be the first step towards lifelong participation within the sport – including passing and catching, as well as playing games of touch rugby amongst themselves, something year three pupil Sam particularly enjoys.
“The best part about the sessions is when we get to play the tag rugby matches, because when I’m older I want to be a professional rugby player,” he said.
Sam’s teacher at Normanton junior Academy Ian Clarke also appreciates the importance of the club’s work.
“I think it’s very good to build relationships with the wider community, and with the Wakefield Wildcats coming in it has given the kids an increased confidence but it also allows them to go out and take part on that bigger stage,” he said during the last of Normanton’s six week programme.
“As a school we do try and get them out and involved with wider opportunities as well so actually having someone come in to give them that chance is wonderful.”
Fellow year three teacher at Normanton School Rachel Tait also highlighted how important the programme was for the children, as well as underlining how much enjoyment they get out of it.
“It is immensely important, it just give them another outlet for their activities, gives them something else to focus on. Just learning skills in different ways works really, really well,” she said.
“They love it, they always ask me at the beginning of the week, have we got rugby on Thursday, have we got rugby on Thursday, so yeah it is immensely important and they do look forward to it.”
Having delivered the six week programme to the school, new Wildcats Development officer Gaz Spedding said, “The kids have really enjoyed us coming into school and it’s been a pleasure to work with Mr Clarke and Mrs Tait.
“It’s great to get the children out playing and to see how they’ve learned some new core skills and also developed their team building skills over the six week period that they can now use as fundamental life skills.”