On Sunday, March 12th a record number of young Rugby Players transformed Hadleigh, Suffolk into the focal point of Mini-TAG rugby in Europe… and beyond.
With 405 players The Hadleigh TAG 2017 smashed last year’s record of 330 players, an event which was officially recognised as the biggest Mini-TAG festival in The British Isles.
Building on the success of previous years Hadleigh RFC welcomed 36 squads of both U-7s and U-8s from Braintree, Colchester, Woodbridge, Ipswich, Bishop’s Stortford, Chelmsford, Witham, Brightlingsea, Mistley, Sudbury, Bury St. Edmunds, Harwich, Stowmarket, Felixstowe, Ipswich YM as well as their own “Hadleigh Baa-Ba
a’s” to play some great rugby based on the RFU’s core values of Teamwork, Respect, Enjo
yment, Discipline and Sportsmanship.
To the cheers of over 800+ spectators, the First Whistle, blown by the Guest of Honour Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Nassé, Commanding Officer, 7 Aviation Support Battalion REME, Wattsisham , signalled the start of 90 games and a combined 15 hours of Mini-TAG, a non-contact form of rugby designed to help young boys and girls develop their fitness, technical skills and to experience the joy of playing the game.
For many of the players and parents this was their first experience of a Rugby Festival and, judging by the smiles and laughter all round, it certainly won’t be their last.
Hadleigh RFC would like to thank in particular the following organisations and individuals for their support without which the Festival would not have been possible;
CELOTEX (U8s), Orwell Park School (U7s), The Hadleigh Thrift Shop, SCR Consulting, Gallagher Boilers, Royal Hospital School, Gladwell’s Pet and Country Stores, Fairfield Farm Crisps, Kersey Freight, Coes of Ipswich, Premier Education, Suffolk Fostering and Adoption Agency, Lt Col, Stuart Nasse 7th Aviation Support Btn Wattisham and the lads of the Royal Engineers, Steve Sargeant Contracts, MyIcon Branding and the ever-smiling Gina at the Hadleigh Business Centre.
Festival Awards for Excellence were awarded to:
Teamwork: Simon Carter and Mistley RUFC
Respect: Harwich and Dovercourt RUFC
Enjoyment: Chelmsford RFC
Discipline: Brightlingsea RFC
Sportsmanship: Bury St. Edmunds RUFC
“The Hadleigh TAG is now an established, and much loved, cornerstone of grass-roots rugby in the Eastern Counties and we are proud to have welcomed so many teams and players from all across the region. The massive levels of support from the RFU and our local community demonstrate just how important The Hadleigh TAG is to the development of “Kids First” Rugby in the region” Charlie Warburton, Chairman, Hadleigh RFC
“It’s truly wonderful what we have here. What started off 4 years ago with just 9 clubs and 120 players has grown into a festival which gets messages of support from afar afield as South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Our volunteers, sponsors, and everyone who has been involved today, have all played their part in putting Hadleigh and the Eastern Counties on the World Map of Rugby!” Marcus Gallagher, Youth Chairman, Hadleigh RFCH