Friday was a day to remember for Wootton Primary School’s students, as they were crowned the inaugural winners of the Saints Schools Cup competition at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens.
The Saints Schools Cup was launched ahead of the 2022/23 season, and saw over 1,000 children from 250 schools across Northamptonshire, Milton Keynes, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, and North Essex compete across ten regional tournaments in June.
Ten lucky schools then met for Finals Day at the Gardens to decide the inaugural winners, who were selected for showing outstanding rugby values throughout the competition.
Open to primary school children in Years 5 and 6, the Saints Schools Cup saw local schools compete in a series of tag rugby festivals, showcasing the rugby skills learned in their PE lessons – as part of their regular curriculum or Saints’ other popular school programme, Saints in the Schools.
The schoolchildren were also introduced to grassroots club rugby, with the regional tournaments taking place across Stewart & Lloyds RFC, Rushden & Higham RFC, Ipswich RFC, Bugbrooke RFC, Colchester RFC, Old Northamptonians RFC, Kettering RFC, Shelford RFC, Milton Keynes RUFC, and Peterborough RFC.
Wootton Primary lifted the Cup trophy at Finals Day in Northampton, but there was also recognition for the efforts of Boothville Primary, Westfield Junior, and Horringer Court Primary in the Plate, Vase and Bowl competitions respectively.
“We were delighted to welcome ten schools to cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens for our inaugural Finals Day,” said Stephen Woodhead, Community Rugby Coordinator at Northampton Saints.
“The Saints Schools Cup has been an exciting addition to our programme this year. We had a fantastic day here in Northampton, and huge congratulations to all the winners – Wootton Primary in the Cup, but also Boothville Primary, Westfield Junior, and Horringer Court Primary.
“This programme not only provides a platform for school children to compete in rugby, but also promotes the values of the sport such as teamwork, respect, and discipline.”Stephen Woodhead, Community Rugby Coordinator
“By partnering with grassroots clubs, the tournament has helped to connect school children with local rugby communities and provided a pathway for those who wish to continue their rugby journey beyond school.
“We’ve tried to bring our rugby further into the community and reach more young people in our region. We’re also delighted to be able to give some of the children the chance to play on the hallowed turf here at the Gardens and create some unforgettable memories, so we can’t wait to start up the Saints Schools Cup again in 2024!”
The schools who competed at Finals Day on Friday 23 June were: West Haddon Primary, Westfield Junior, Long Meadow Primary, Wootton Primary, St Joseph’s College, Blisworth Primary, Ruskin Academy, Wootton Park, Boothville Primary, and Horringer Court.
If you’re interested in getting involved in the Saints Schools Cup in 2024, complete THIS FORM. Please note dates for the regional tournaments are yet to be announced.
Entry to the tournament is FREE for schools taking part in the Saints in the Schools programme during in 2023/24 – with entries from new schools subject to a small fee of £35 (plus VAT).
For more information on all the school programmes Saints’ Community Team offer, please email [email protected].