The Elite Insurance Schools Sevens Series has travelled to six counties so far this season. With just the finals day to be held at Franklin’s Gardens to go, we spoke to Will Parkin, Saints' Elite Insurance sevens series manager, about the successes of the tournament so far this year.
“We’ve had over 80 schools take part in this years tournament” Parkin told SaintsTV. “Just over one thousand kids have been through the Elite Insurance sevens series.
“Without the backing of Elite, none of this would have been possible. Some of these boys would have picked up rugby through playing in these sevens tournaments and gone into the club system or to our DPP through the backing of the tournament.
“We’ve seen massive growth in the tournament this year. Last year we had just over 40 teams take part over the whole of the tournament and this year we’ve just nudged over 80.
“We’ve had 20 teams take part in the Oxfordshire tournament alone so it shows the growth not just in the tournament, but in rugby in general.
“With sevens being a part of the Olympics, we’ve seen a big growth in the sport. Not just at that top level but with tournaments all through the summer too.
“The key skills that the kids take from sevens, the passing, catching and one on one tackling, are all key elements that you take into the 15-a-side game.”
One of the Saints’ 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 Sevens Series 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.