Thousands of England's future rugby stars compete in Cambs minis festival
More than one thousand young rugby players put the disappointment of England's World Cup exit behind them on Sunday as they took part in the annual Cambridgeshire Minis Festival.
138 teams from 13 different clubs competed at six different age groups, playing 325 games at seven separate venues across the county including Peterborough, Saffron Walden, St. Neots and Ely.
“We were doubly blessed,” said event organiser Simon Potter. “We had magnificent weather and the standard of rugby on display was superb.
“To have over one thousand six to twelve year-olds out playing rugby in one event was wonderful. All the local clubs seem to have far more players than they did a few years ago; it seems the popularity of the sport is on the up.”
The Cambridgeshire Festival is not a competitive tournament; it is the traditional season opener in which all the cubs get together and teams plays four or five games as a way of getting used to the rules, which change slightly as each age group moves up a year.
“The mini and junior sections of rugby clubs across the county either trains or play matches every Sunday morning, usually between 10am and 12 noon and will all welcome new recruits with open arms,” said Mr Potter.
“They all have websites which will guide anyone who’d like to take up the sport.”
Cambridgeshire RFU, which runs the annual minis festival, has member clubs with youth sections throughout the county at Ely, Cottenham and Cambridge with some just over the borders too.