Premiership Rugby stars Brad Barritt, Hayden Smith and Harry Allen were at Hackney Bulls Rugby Club yesterday leading a training session after the club was announced as a winner of the QBE Rugby Pro competition.
Hackney Bulls under 12’s and 14’s trained withthe members of the Saracens first team courtesy of QBE, the specialist in business insurance. They are one of six grassroots rugby clubs across the country to be awarded a training session with three top Premiership Rugby players.
The prizes were awarded to innovative clubs who demonstrate how they contribute to improving their local community. The judges were impressed by the hard work shown by the Hackney coaches and their efforts to provide young people from surrounding inner city boroughs the opportunity to get involved in a disciplined sport.
The training session provided Hackney Bulls under 12’s and 14’s with the rare opportunity to learn from professionals and pick up specialist advice on basic rugby skills, game play and improving fitness. This was followed by a meet and greet with the Saracens players as they were happy to pose for photographs and sign autographs for Hackney Bulls club members. In addition, the club received £1,000 worth of training equipment.
Oliver Schofield, Joint Vice Chair at Hackney Bulls Youth RFC, said:“The training session taken by Brad, Hayden and Harry was a great success and the kids learnt a number of new skills. Hopefully this will see their technique develop as the season goes on and will bring an increased enthusiasm for the sport around the club. We are very grateful to QBE for the fantastic event and the new training equipment.”
Brad Barritt, England Saxons and Saracens centre, said: “I think that this is a fantastic initiative and I am delighted that Hackney Bulls has won this competition. It’s great that we can pass on our advice to these youngsters and I hope that they can develop into the stars of the future.”
Ten rugby clubs from across the UK were also awarded runners up prizes of £1000 worth of training kit, including training balls, post protectors, match balls, training tops, water bottles, kit bag, bibs and cones; essentials for grass roots rugby clubs.
QBE Rugby Pro is part of QBE’s Developing Talent programme, which sees the business insurer encourage development of the game at a grassroots level.
For more information on the winning clubs and further details on QBE Rugby Pro visit www.qberugby.com.