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Wallasey Rugby Club are on the lookout for Junior players

Wallasey Rugby Club is seeking junior players of all ages in response to the decline in rugby participation in England. In a major recruitment drive, the club is urging youngsters to put down their devices and onto the pitch because rugby participation has dropped by 67% and child mental health and obesity are serious problems.

The Wirral club has sessions for all ages every Sunday from 10am that consist of a warm-up, training, a match, and food and drink afterwards. The club places significant emphasis on inclusivity, teamwork, positive mental health, discipline, and respect, imparting valuable life lessons to children, all while playing rugby in a controlled, regulated, and safe environment.

Wallasey Rugby Club are on the lookout for Junior players

Children can join for just £8 per month, with £5 per additional child, and family memberships start at just £10 per month, giving parents access to club events, venue hire, and hospitality discounts. The club has a great sense of community, and junior players enjoy it so much that no child has left since joining. Such is the sense of belonging and togetherness.

Wallasey Rugby Club, along with local clubs Prenton RUFC and Oldershaw, is leading the way in the drive to increase junior rugby participation. Their aim is to tackle the child mental and physical health crisis through rugby, with the key message to parents being that safety is paramount at all times.

Wallasey Rugby Club are on the lookout for Junior players

Wallasey Rugby Club’s Youth Coach, Tom O’Donnell, said: 

“There’s a worry amongst parents that rugby is dangerous but our youth rugby is controlled and regulated — with tag rugby up to a certain age. I’d say junior rugby is safer that football in many respects and it’s less toxic — with a bigger emphasis on discipline, respect and fair play.”

“We welcome children of all abilities and backgrounds — we’ve had many additional needs children train and play with us and there’s a great sense of camaraderie. It’s an opportunity for children to get off their devices, get fit and become part of a community — we teach them qualities that will set them up for life, whilst they get to meet new friends.”

Experts believe rugby is the best discipline parents or teachers can offer a child, despite media debates about its potential dangers for children. Parents of Wallasey Rugby Club’s junior players have reported great improvements to their children’s mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing since joining the club.

Wallasey Rugby Club are on the lookout for Junior players

One parent said: 

“I can honestly say Harrison’s confidence has improved massively. He couldn’t walk until he was about 4 years old so has always been reluctant to join in with sports but always wanted to — this has helped massively!”

Another said: 

“Since Frankie left playing football and decided he wanted to learn rugby his confidence has grown and I’ve never seen someone so happy to get out on the field with all the lads, most of which are bigger than him, and just get stuck in. They have all connected so well and are a big group of pals.”

Wallasey Rugby Club has begun its recruitment drive for the new season, starting in September 2024, and is offering parents the chance to bring their child or children along for a free trial. Children will be able to get a feel for the game and the club in a warm, welcoming, and inclusive environment.

Tom O’Donnell summarised: 

“It’s time to combat the very real issues of child mental health problems, obesity and disorder and there’s no better way to do so than through rugby. The sport helps them develop as young people and the whole family can become part of something bigger here at the club.”

To bring your child along for free or to sponsor junior rugby you can contact Tom O’Donnell on 07941 061966. You can check out the club’s website here.

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