Youngsters attending a Premiership Rugby Academy were given the opportunity to learn from their heroes last week when Northampton Saints players Ben Foden, James Wilson and Sam Dickinson turned up to join in.
Two hundred Premiership Rugby Academies are held nationwide each year and are designed to help develop school-aged rugby players. This particular visit by the Northampton Saints’ players was aimed to assist groups of children from a wide range of backgrounds gain access to the sport. Ben Foden said:
“We’re here today looking at the grassroots. It’s very important for kids to get involved in sports at all ages, it’s healthy for them to be running around, enjoying themselves and making friends. It’s essential for the growth of the game and having sponsors on-board supporting the activity makes a big difference.”
The three Northampton Saints players were joined by youngsters Marley and Martel Wolfenden who are a part of Northampton Casuals RFC and were chosen from a man-of-the-match performance by 12-year old Marley.
Martin Wolfenden, father to Marley and Martel commented, “I was delighted to be told that Marley and Martel had been offered this special place at the Premiership Rugby academy by Land Rover. Rugby means a lot to both of my sons and I was over the moon that they could attend the academy, something that we’d have normally struggled to get them to. They have really enjoyed themselves and I’m sure will have benefited from the expert training, as well as meeting Ben, James and Sam.”
Laura Schwab, Marketing Director of Land Rover UK, sponsors of the Premiership Rugby Academy, said: “Giving children the opportunity to take part in rugby is something we’re extremely proud of and we’re delighted to be a part of the Premiership Rugby Academies. It is exciting to enable children who might not normally get access to the academies the opportunity to be involved and learn from the stars of the game.”
Land Rover also sponsors the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, a nationwide grassroots tournament for under 11s and under 12s. This tournament aims to inspire youngsters in the sport to be like their rugby heroes and Land Rover has already enabled more than 30,000 children to take part over the last four years.