Club rallies to ensure ‘forgotten’ boy gets his end of season lockdown ball

PUBLISHED: 15:36 22 June 2020

195 rugby balls were handed to young players from Ely Tigers during a 'locldown' presentation. The end of season awards night had to be cancelled but the club was determined it would still be a special occasion. They made it so Picture; ELY TIGERS

195 rugby balls were handed to young players from Ely Tigers during a 'locldown' presentation. The end of season awards night had to be cancelled but the club was determined it would still be a special occasion. They made it so Picture; ELY TIGERS

Archant

He was the little boy that his dad forgot – but Ely Tigers Rugby Club were quick to put it right.

195 rugby balls were handed to young players from Ely Tigers during a 'locldown' presentation. The end of season awards night had to be cancelled but the club was determined it would still be a special occasion. They made it so Picture; ELY TIGERS 195 rugby balls were handed to young players from Ely Tigers during a 'locldown' presentation. The end of season awards night had to be cancelled but the club was determined it would still be a special occasion. They made it so Picture; ELY TIGERS

On Saturday the club invited the parents of all their junior teams – both boys and girls – to turn up with their children to be handed a special ‘lockdown’ rugby ball.

It was the club’s special way of thanking each youngster – all195 of them – for their support throughout the past year.

Social distancing and the coronavirus pandemic put paid to the end of season awards presentation, but the club had a cunning plan.

And so, on Saturday, a steady stream of cars, with happy youngsters on board, turned up, with windows down, to be ‘thrown’ their own keepsake ball.

195 rugby balls were handed to young players from Ely Tigers during a 'locldown' presentation. The end of season awards night had to be cancelled but the club was determined it would still be a special occasion. They made it so Picture; ELY TIGERS195 rugby balls were handed to young players from Ely Tigers during a 'locldown' presentation. The end of season awards night had to be cancelled but the club was determined it would still be a special occasion. They made it so Picture; ELY TIGERS

But one dad was missing.

“My husband forgot (despite being reminded last night) and as such (our son) is in tears as we’ve been told there is no ball for him.

“This is despite confirming we would be there when the original message was received. Is there no chance of finding a spare for him?”

The club sprang into action, got in touch, and ensured the youngster received his ball in record quick time.

195 rugby balls were handed to young players from Ely Tigers during a 'locldown' presentation. The end of season awards night had to be cancelled but the club was determined it would still be a special occasion. They made it so Picture; ELY TIGERS 195 rugby balls were handed to young players from Ely Tigers during a 'locldown' presentation. The end of season awards night had to be cancelled but the club was determined it would still be a special occasion. They made it so Picture; ELY TIGERS

“It was super kind,” his mum responded. “He’s really happy. We’ve just had a game of passing in a circle and running passes. I suspect it’ll be daily drills from now.”

Thousands tuned to Facebook Live to watch the balls being presented and enjoy the moment.

“Lots of very happy boys and girls taking home brand new rugby balls to practice and play with over the summer, said Christian Griffin, the minis chairman.

“And we had several dedicated coaches taking time out of their Saturday to help give them out.

195 rugby balls were handed to young players from Ely Tigers during a 'locldown' presentation. The end of season awards night had to be cancelled but the club was determined it would still be a special occasion. They made it so Picture; ELY TIGERS 195 rugby balls were handed to young players from Ely Tigers during a 'locldown' presentation. The end of season awards night had to be cancelled but the club was determined it would still be a special occasion. They made it so Picture; ELY TIGERS

“Please rest assured though the coaches will be receiving plenty of passing practice before the new season starts.”

He was delighted colleagues agreed the plan to send each of their players, from under 6s to under 12s, their very own rugby ball... all 195 of them.

He said: “As our season was cut short and we missed out on the awards presentation day, we wanted to do something extra for our players to mark the end of this season.”

He added: “We think this will help all of our players keep up their physical and mental health, and also their love of rugby”

195 rugby balls were handed to young players from Ely Tigers during a 'locldown' presentation. The end of season awards night had to be cancelled but the club was determined it would still be a special occasion. They made it so Picture; ELY TIGERS 195 rugby balls were handed to young players from Ely Tigers during a 'locldown' presentation. The end of season awards night had to be cancelled but the club was determined it would still be a special occasion. They made it so Picture; ELY TIGERS

Chris Day, club chairman, is happy something could be done to keep their youngsters smiling.

“It was a real shame we couldn’t all be together to celebrate this year, but this new initiative is certainly a very good alternative!” he said.

“We are immensely proud of our young Tiger Cubs. Their numbers continue to grow year on year and they always have smile on their faces, despite the early start and changeable English weather!”

195 rugby balls were handed to young players from Ely Tigers during a 'locldown' presentation. The end of season awards night had to be cancelled but the club was determined it would still be a special occasion. They made it so Picture; ELY TIGERS 195 rugby balls were handed to young players from Ely Tigers during a 'locldown' presentation. The end of season awards night had to be cancelled but the club was determined it would still be a special occasion. They made it so Picture; ELY TIGERS


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