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A&L Tag Champions of Champions

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Children at a Leicestershire school have been celebrating after being crowned the Alliance and Leicester Tag Champions of Champions.

Badgerbrook Primary School in Whetstone came out on top before Leicester Tigers’ final game of the Guinness Premiership regular season against Bath Rugby on Saturday to land the prestigious title.

Badgerbrook School were the year two champions of A&L Tag, a three-year rolling programme that sees Tigers deliver rugby coaching to every school in Leicestershire and Rutland.

They edged out year one champions St Nicholas CofE School, from Oakham, and St Clare’s Catholic Primary School, from Coalville, this year’s winners, in a round robin tournament in front of a large crowd at the Walkers Stadium.

Nigel Williams, PE co-ordinator at Badgerbrook School, said: “We are absolutely over the moon. We have been to the Champions of Champions three times and we have been runners-up twice. We have finally got the trophy that we have never won.

“The children have been absolutely fantastic, especially in the deciding game against St Clare’s. There were a lot of very good players in their side and it was an exciting game.”

Badgerbrook School beat St Nicholas School 10-6 in the opening game before St Clare’s School edged out St Nicholas School 11-8. It set up a final showdown which Badgerbrook School won 12-9 to take the title.

Sarah Noon, St Clare’s School coach and school governor, said: “I am extremely proud of them. They played very well in both games, but we made a few mistakes in the second game and couldn’t put pressure on the other team to force them into a mistake. We were beaten by the better team on the day.”

Barbara Crellin is headteacher at St Nicholas School, who were year one winners. She said: “I have to say I am proud of them and I want them to be proud of themselves. Being the year one winners, none of them have played in the tournament.
“It has been a fantastic experience and a great opportunity.”

Scott Clarke, Tigers community manager, said: “It was great to see all 36 pupils from three of the most supportive schools of the A&L Tag programme putting in 100 per cent effort.

“They were smiling while playing and were a credit to themselves and their schools.

“Congratulations to all three schools on getting this far and on a great day’s tag rugby.”

The Alliance and Leicester Tag programme moves on to special schools across Leicestershire and Rutland throughout the summer term before the three-year rolling programme starts again in the Melton Partnership Area.

Clarke said: “No sooner has the final game of the previous three years been finished than plans are already in place to take rugby to the next generation of nine and ten year olds.

“Alliance and Leicester have continued their superb support of this grassroots programme and we are sure to have some great fun introducing the game to a new set of pupils from September 2009”

More information on Tigers’ A&L Tag programme is available by clicking here or by contacting the community team at Welford Road on 0116 2171 221.