Community Update : 2nd ‘Fixture Friday’ gives Two New Schools First Taste of RL

20th June 2017

Last Friday saw the second in our Series of ‘Fixture Friday’s’ events 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. Then on a certain 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.

This round up of matches saw Cardinal Pole from Hackney, Park View and St Thomas More from Haringey and Seven Kings from Ilford all play fixtures at Year 7 and Year 8. All teams were very evenly matched, very raw in terms of Rugby League experience, however players from all schools had plenty of heart, athleticism and skill which meant that there was some’ fantastic match-ups across all the 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.

Community Development Manager Matt Cuss who pulled together the concept 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.’

Cuss continued ‘today’s event was some of the schools first involvement in Rugby League and the fact that we had schools from Ilford and Hackney as well as more established schools from Haringey is really pleasing. We hope that being involved in fixtures 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.

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 will continue next term and we urge any schools interested in becoming a London Skolars partner school to get in touch with our Community Department via the club. 

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