Youngsters can develop their skills in the Elite Insurance Club Sevens © Northampton Saints
Community News Elite Insurance Club Sevens the next step in growing Olympic sport
Northampton Saints Elite Player Development Group manager Ross Stewart says that the Elite Insurance Club Sevens is giving young players an opportunity to play the shortened version of the sport that they might not otherwise have had.
The Elite Insurance Club Sevens was launched in March, following in the footsteps of the highly successful Schools Sevens, which itself is in its second year. Under-13 club teams from across the East of England have competed in regional tournaments held in Olney, Colchester and Dunstable, with the winners and runners-up heading to Franklin’s Gardens for finals day on Friday, August 1st.
Hadleigh, Colchester, Towcestrians, Bletchley, Long Buckby and Northampton Old Scouts rugby clubs will battle it out for the right to be called Elite Insurance Club Sevens champion, before heading into the stands to watch the Northampton leg of the Premiership Rugby Sevens Series later in the evening.
Stewart believes that the Elite Insurance Club Sevens can become an important tournament in the age group development of this new Olympic sport.
“After the success of the schools tournament, there was a great demand from players who played at the schools that felt there was no Sevens competition at their clubs,” he said. “For us there is an opportunity to just utilise the good weather and use a form of the game that highlights skills and just works with people having a good time.
“The 15-a-side game is very complicated for new players and this tournament allows athletes to enter the game in a much more relaxed environment. But some of the players may have played in the Schools Sevens tournament, and they can see the direct link with their clubs as well.
“Elite Insurance has seen the value in Rugby Sevens, and without their support we would not have been able to expand the Sevens Series to clubs. We thank them for this, and look forward to growing the Club Sevens over the next few years.”
One of the club’s Elite Sponsors, Elite Insurance is dedicated to supporting youth rugby in the Eastern Counties and East Midlands. The Elite Insurance Sevens Series gives Under-13 players the opportunity to play a new Olympic sport, with separate tournaments for clubs and schools.
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The Elite Insurance Club Sevens is the latest in the wide range of age group tournaments organised by Northampton Saints. Over the course of a season thousands of young rugby players in age groups ranging from Under-7s to Under-16s descend on Franklin’s Gardens on first team match days, with trophies and medals handed out on the main pitch during the half-time interval of that day’s Saints game.