Youth Rugby supported by GasanMamo underway at Marsa

Friday, February 18, 2011, 14:55

Toby Flood, Chris Ashton, Morgan Stoddart and Italy’s Bergamasco, names you and your children might become familiar with in coming weeks as the RBS Six Nations Championship is played out.  And yet, this annual battle of strength, skill and wit is but a pre-cursor to the 2011 Rugby World Cup and Malta’s first International Game of 2011on 30 April.

Action from Youth Rugby

Action from Youth Rugby

Wherever and whatever the tournament, new names seem to feature as the latest upcoming talent makes it to his (or sometimes her) national squad.  Training and preparation takes place across the globe and Malta is no exception.

While members of the National A Squad are undergoing rigorous training to secure a place in April’s International and clubs train weekly to compete in the various local leagues, equal focus is given to youngsters, even those as young as seven coming into the sport of rugby for the first time, keen to emulate their sporting heroes, or simply to follow their curiosity about this relatively new sport on the island.

Under the auspices of the Malta Rugby Football Union (MRFU) and GasanMamo Insurance -who has been supported Youth Rugby for a number of years – a School of Rugby takes place every Sunday morning at Marsa. Children between the ages of five and 17 come down to Marsa and enjoy a series of training sessions with dedicated coaches, together with ‘mini’ tag or touch rugby matches ensuring safety at all times.  

Coaches come from a variety of clubs and have been impressed with the energy and enthusiasm of the children, as well as witnessing an improvement in skills and basic understanding of the game.  The sessions give the kids the freedom to run around and practice their new-found skills on grass, but most of all they have fun.

Julian J. Mamo, Director at GasanMamo said:  “It’s great to see the children on a Sunday morning at Marsa so excited about the game and the competition.  The atmosphere is catching and the game also manages to involve the youngsters’ siblings and families into a sporting complicity.  GasanMamo’s support of the game not only seeks to instil positive values but also looks towards a holistic development of children, with the help of rugby training.”

Bi-annual competitions take place in April and December featuring tag and touch rugby depending on age.  The competitions have no trophies or medals, so everyone is a winner, but this April there are plans to take the best from each group to feature in an exhibition of youth rugby at Hibernians Stadium just before the Malta vs Croatia International on 30th April.

The activity is not just restricted to the sports ground.  Keen to reach as wide an audience as possible, the MRFU and individual clubs alike are increasingly active at promoting and developing the sport within schools at both primary and secondary level.  Regular training sessions are organised and delivered by club and MRFU volunteers with the support of PE teachers.  In one case, Valletta RFC club arranged for National Captain, Domenic Busuttil, to accompany them to a training session in one of the capital’s schools.

Caroline Furminger, PRO for MRFU said: “Inroads are definitely being made into the development of the sport here, but the Maltese rugby community wants to go even further with your help.  If your child is interested, just come along to Marsa on a Sunday morning.  You don’t need to be affiliated to a particular club or school to attend although plenty of guidance will be given if a club membership is what you’re after.  Come and discover an environment of skill, discipline, camaraderie, friendship and fun.”

For details and information, please contact Charlene Curmi on youth@mrfu.org or Caroline Furminger on pro@mrfu.org





Leave a comment