YOUNGSTERS from Bournemouth Rugby Club played a part in creating history as they participated in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, hosted by Bath Rugby.
Since being launched during the 2008-09 season, the nationwide grassroots rugby event has seen more than 70,000 children take part.
This season saw the 10th anniversary – the testimonial season – with Bath Rugby hosting the final festival in Trowbridge.
Bournemouth under-11s were among more than 30 under-11 and under-12 teams in attendance and even got the chance to strut their stuff in front of Bath players Levi Douglas, Jack Wilson and Max Wright, who were casting their eyes over the next generation of stars.
And while they missed out on the chance to attend the upcoming Aviva Premiership Rugby final, despite displaying plenty of skill and effort, 11-year-old Regan Dijkstra loved every minute of the experience.
“I’ve just started club for just over a year now,” said the Bournemouth Collegiate School pupil. “My friends from school and my school made me get into rugby.
“I like being a member of Bournemouth because you get to play and they don’t leave you out.
“This is probably the biggest event I’ve played at. It’s different because you don’t know how they’re going to play and how good they are because we’re used to playing against Local teams.
“We’ve learnt you have to pass, don’t always try and do it by yourself because you can’t do it by yourself. And don’t kick all the time!
“I support Bath so I am a bit nervous to meet the players! I like that they play as a team and don’t always do what we do!
“I’m from South Africa, from Johannesburg, so I support South Africa but I like many players across the world.”
Teams from across the country have competed at various festivals hosted by the 12 Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs this season, with the opportunity to earn a trip to the Aviva Premiership Rugby final on May 26, where they will meet a Land Rover rugby ambassador, join in a Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup Parade at half-time and hear which of them has won a club MVP award.
And despite missing out, Bournemouth did at least get the chance to rub shoulders with rugby’s elite in Douglas, Wright and Wilson, with the former admitting he had been impressed with what he had seen, in particular stressing the importance of grassroots rugby.
“It all starts at events like these, 100 per cent. This is where you develop your love for the sport,” he said.
“Even having us boys coming down here to talk to the kids would mean a lot to me growing up, it just inspires you to carry on and see the point you can get to.
“This is laying the foundations.
“It is a surreal feeling, it still hasn’t sunk in, but it’s an amazing opportunity and we’re just hoping to inspire these kids and see some of them go on to do the same thing.”
Land Rover is celebrating its ‘Testimonial Season’; ten years of the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup. The national series of grassroots rugby festivals is testament to Land Rover’s continued support of grassroots rugby through its ‘We Deal In Real’ campaign. Follow @LandRoverRugby #WeDealInReal
Source : BournemouthEcho