Community Department #FixtureFriday Hailed As Great Success

5th May 2017

Today saw the launch of ‘Fixture Friday’s’ held here at London Skolars home ground New River Stadium. The ‘Fixture Friday’ concept is part of London Skolars overall package on offer to Secondary Schools, whereby we deliver weekly curriculum time sessions focusing on Rugby League skills and development. Every third week, on a Friday, the schools travel to New River, to play fixtures against other schools who are also receiving delivery programmes from the Skolars Community Staff.

The first round up of matches saw Cardinal Pole from Hackney play fixtures at Year 7 and Year 8 against St Thomas More of Haringey. Both teams were very evenly matched, very raw in terms of Rugby League experience, however both schools had plenty of heart, athleticism and skill which meant that there was some’ fantastic match-ups across both pitches.

The games were refereed by London Skolars Community Staff and they were ably assisted by students from Barnet & Southgate College, who also provided support to the players from both schools to ensure that they had a fantastic day out and experience for Rugby League.

Player Recruitment Officer Dion Chapman who pulled together the day commented ‘it was fantastic for the players and the teachers to finally get some game-time after a few weeks of coaching. We’ve been really pleased with the talent that we’ve seen in the school sessions, so it was really great to get the boys down to Skolars today and out on the field to put into practice what they have worked on in curriculum time.’

Chapman continued ‘today’s event tied in nicely with the re-launch of our U13’s, who will train on Saturday morning at 10am on Perth Road led by experienced coach Ian Ackley. We have worked hard on recruitment at this age-group over the past few weeks and giving the boys the chance to play today, here at Skolars, should really give the boys the push they need to get on down to the club and continue their rugby outside of school.’

Community Development Manager Matt Cuss spoke of his delight at the success of the concept ‘it was really great to see the first ‘Fixture Friday’ at Skolars take place today. We’ve been speaking about the concept for a while now and it’s been a long-time coming, however it was a huge success.

Cuss explained the thinking and purpose behind hosting the events;

‘The ‘Fixture Friday’ programme gives teachers the flexibility to bring as many boys as they can to New River, with it being every 3 weeks it gives the teachers a break and allows the Community Staff to develop the boys during the curriculum time sessions, so that each time they visit Skolars the quality get’s better. The games aren’t as structured as regular 13-a-side, with smaller pitches and shorter halves, it ensures a fast, physical game, with the players getting far more touches than they normally would. It really does involve every child and it involves them often.

Having such a good facility available to us here at Skolars is fantastic, and we hope by bringing the players to the ground it will prove to be a major factor in them joining our Junior Programme. We hope that it will familiarise them with the journey here, the facilities and of course the club itself, therefore making their first session less daunting and removing any barriers to participation that may exist.

Fixture Friday’s is set to continue in 3 weeks time on May 26th, where we hope to welcome more school teams to New River and in turn see more potential Junior Skolars experiencing their first taste of Rugby League.


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