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Mallinder gets grilled by youngsters

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Mallinder, along with Dylan Hartley and Calum Clark, took part in round table question and answer sessions with Year 5 students from Standens Barn Primary and Hopping Hill Primary schools at the Saints Study Centre.

Topics ranged from the average training week to which superhero the Saints boss and players would be, and the anticipation felt by the youngsters could not be overstated.

"The children were so excited they even got to the bus early!" said Claire Stuart from Standens Barn Primary. "They really wanted to be part of something and to meet people who have achieved so much, especially with the Saints having reached the semi-finals.

"With Aviva putting the money into programmes like this it helps give the children experience of something outside their normal school environment. Sometimes their school life can be a bit limiting, so to have these kinds of experiences is brilliant."

Now in its second season, the Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme represents a £2 million investment by Aviva into the grass roots level of the game. Resources go towards supporting over 1,200 teachers in 650 schools across the country while also providing all the kit necessary to play tag rugby.

The number of children who will have taken part in the scheme, delivered by the 12 Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs, by the end of this season is enough to fill Twickenham Stadium. The Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme is aimed at Key Stage 2 pupils, with each Premiership Rugby club working with two classes at 50 schools.

Last November Ben Foden and Alex Waller launched the Saints' 2011/12 Aviva National Schools Programme at All Saints Primary School in Northampton, while in March hundreds of youngsters descended on Franklin's Gardens to battle it out in a Tag Rugby festival.

This week's session was led by Saints Study Centre manager, Pete Austen, who says that the investment from Aviva is invaluable.

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