The profile of Rugby Sevens continues to grow, with the Rugby Sevens World Series attracting crowds in the tens of thousands across the globe and the sport being included in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
But for an elite level sport to succeed, it also needs an effective and prospering grass roots movement, which is where the Elite Insurance Sevens Series comes in. The tournaments encourage the development of Rugby Sevens at Under-13 level in clubs and schools across the East of England.
In 2014 over 40 schools took part across five counties. This year, the tournament doubled in size, with 86 schools taking part and over 1000 players involved. The success of the tournament allowed a sixth regional tournament to be added to the calendar for schools in Milton Keynes and the surrounding area.
2015 also saw the introduction of an Under-18s tournament and a tournament for local rugby clubs, both of which saw 14 teams take part.
Barbara Bock, Group Executive Officer at Elite Insurance, worked with the Saints Community department to help them gain funding for the tournament from Elite Insurance.
“We couldn’t be happier. Bock told SaintsTV. “Not only have we doubled in size but we’ve also expanded into new territory and we’re also now looking to go into different age groups. We’re really proud of how the tournaments have been organised, how it’s gone and the standard of rugby that was on show too.
“I take my hat off to everyone in the Saints Community department that has been involved with the tournaments. They have been very well organised and they have been very committed to the project so i’m really thankful for everything they have done.”
Coaches from The Perse School, who were overall tournament winners, were full of praise for the way the tournament was run and the benefits that their students gained from taking part when they spoke to SaintsTV at the event.
“It’s been a brilliant competition that was superbly led and organised aswell so we really appreciate the work that Northampton Saints and Elite Insurance do to put this tournament on. It’s been our third year of entering now and it’s always been a great chance for the guys to play some extra rugby. It’s a brilliant ground, a great experience and an all round great day.
“Playing sevens adds a nice variety to their game, it really tests their skills. It’s a short and sharp game where they have to think about their game and not just rely on the coaches shouting what to do from the touch lines. It’s a really good game to pick up some skills and enjoy the flair side of rugby. The guys have really developed a lot throughout this tournament too.”
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.
Elite Insurance has evolved rapidly to become one of Europe's leading insurers. A commitment to continual expansion and acquisition enables Elite to offer clients unrivalled expertise in many niche areas of insurance, delivering products quickly, conveniently and competitively.
For more information about how Elite Insurance can help your company head to www.elite-insurance.co.uk
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.