Marie Curie Mini Rugby Festivals
Marie Curie Middlesex U11 & U12 Festival March 2011 Wasps, Twyford Avenue
Across three days in March, Middlesex Rugby hosts an annual celebration of mini rugby for 7 -12 year olds. Building on the success of previous years, Grasshoppers, Ealing Trailfinders and Wasps are hosting this years Marie Curie Festivals which focus on TAG, U9/10 and U11/12 rugby. Over 800 games will played with over 3200 players joining in and bringing along over 12,000 supporters to give all the kids a massive rugby experience.
The format for the Middlesex Festivals is different from those usually seen for mini rugby and is more akin to the IRB Sevens series. This aims to deliver a lot of rugby for all involved and everyone has something to play for.
Marie Curie Fixtures 2011-12
Oct 30 Round 1 (6th November)
Nov 27 Round 2 (4th December)
Jan 29 Round 3 (5th February)
March 4 Tag Festival
March 11 U9-U10 Festival
March 18 U11 Festival & U12 Championship Finals Day
* Dates in brackets are fall back dates
Photo links to 2010-11 festival
Marie Curie Middlesex U11&U12 Festival [Wasps Twyford Avenue]
More about the Festival
Year on year we have seen the standards rise to a level where the leading Middlesex teams are considered amongst the best in country. An example of this is the U12s competition which comprises a series of rounds cluminating in a finals day at Wasps.
The players experience longer matches and the type of discipline that they will need as they move to the youth leagues. Since the format was introduced, U12s playing for Middlesex clubs have progressed to youth level with greater strength and skill, with many winning their respective leagues
Coaching and refereeing
The success of these festivals makes them the highlight of the mini rugby season, and a testament to the efforts and effectiveness of the coaching and the excellent work of the Middlesex referees panel. Every club is required to provide ELRA qualified referees on entry for these festivals and consequently we are seeing fewer injuries and better games. It has really helped clubs develop this vital area of the game and provides a pipeline for future refereeing talent to emerge into the youth and senior versions of game.
School of Rugby
The Middlesex School of Rugby team has for the past few years have been using the U12 Championship to ‘spot’ players to be invited to the Middlesex County School of Rugby programme. Last year this resulted in 40 players being invited to the trials held at the end of the season for the Middlesex U13 School of Rugby.
Across the three festivals, 24 shields can be won and these last year were awarded to ten different clubs showing the quality of the game across the county and the inclusion benefits of Middlesex Rugby's approach to festivals.
Each year we award three County prizes to clubs, recognising the cumulative performance across all our festivals. In last year's main Championship Shield competition Teddington denied Rosslyn Park a clean sweep, though Park's strength across all ages won them the Barry Boyden Trophy for the second year in a row. Rosslyn Park will be going all out this year to make it a hat-trick, though Teddington and Ealing will be doubtless be looking to push them all the way.
The Derek Mann Shield Competition is a very different affair recognising broader performance across all abilities and this went right up the wire last season with Bank of England, Wasps, Saracens all in contention right up to the final game. Ultimately, London Welsh won, though Bank of England pushed them all the way.
Raising funds for Marie Curie
At the festivals over the course of the past few years, Middlesex clubs have raised nearly £30,000 through the Marie Curie Cup that raises money for Marie Curie nurses across the county. Last year marked Ealing Trailfinders' hat-trick as top fund raiser for the third year in a row raising more than half of the total!
If you would like to be involved, or you or your company can help with the organisation or funding of these festivals, please get in touch with festival organiser Russell Price email: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 07770 666004