Swindon St George rugby league juniors club plans first ever fixture against Oxford Cavaliers

By Jamie Hill - 23 September 2020

Clubs & Activities

Work is continuing behind the scenes to finalise the Swindon St George's first ever youth rugby league fixture which is expected to take place in October.

The fixture will see Swindon St George (SSG) take on their oldest rivals the Oxford Cavaliers across all of their age groups.

For the first time ever SSG will be fielding their u5s, u6s, u7s, u8s, u9s, u10s and u12s.

SSG chairman Richard White to speak said: "It's amazing. I can honestly say that I never thought I would see the club in a position where we would be running our own junior section.

"Swindon has always been big for football and rugby union with not a lot previously know and rugby league. Our plan for the juniors was always to be in two parts. the initial plan was to get into the schools first to promote rugby league and to deliver our schools community engagement program, then to look at bringing those who were interested from the school's program down to the club for some club rugby.

"Unfortunately, due to covid and schools closing we had to put that on hold. Towards the back of lockdown the club made its decision to test the waters to see what sort of interest and buy in we would have from the local community in regards to us setting up our junior and youth rugby league section. The response we have had has been amazing and the proof is in the results.

"We started our juniors off with a small group of youngsters across three age groups. fast forward seven weeks and through the hard work that the club, and in particular the work that the coaches have put in, we now have 60/70 kids registered to the club across all of our age groups. 

"One of the more pleasing aspects of how well the juniors has been received is the number of girls who are getting Involved. we have a couple of girls in more or less every age group with us even being able to field a u7s girls' team if we wanted to.

"Now, with primary and secondary schools having reopened for the start of the new academic year we will be looking at resuming where we had left off with our school's community engagement program. We already have had several schools already confirming their intentions to continue our program which has got everyone at the club really looking forward to seeing what the future holds for our junior section and schools' program partnership.

"We are also slowly setting plans in place to hopefully bring in an annual schools' competition which we are hoping will be the catalyst for a successful school to club player pathway for our junior section.

"The plan originally was for us to stop all junior and youth training in November and to resume back in march as technically we are operating outside of our traditional summer rugby window, But, due to the massive success of our junior section we will be running straight through to next year.

"One of Swindon St George's first ever senior games when we reformed all those years ago was against Oxford Cavaliers so it only makes sense that the juniors first game would be against them as well.

"This opening fixture is all about giving the juniors a bit of a taste of what rugby league is all about and will also act as a bit of a reward for all of their hard work that they have all been putting in at training as we continue their preparation for next season. In line with the current covid situation that we are all facing we will be sticking to set guidelines set out to us by the RFL and in turn sports England. More or less all of the games, should we be fortunate enough for them to go ahead, will be held in a tag rugby format.

"As always, we are continually looking for any boys and girls of all experience levels and abilities who would like to give rugby league a go. Albeit to help boost their self-esteem or confidence, to making friends and just having fun we look to try and cater for everyone."

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