17 July 2013

We are the champions!

Ahead of the Rugby World Cup coming to Brighton & Hove in 2015, a young team of national rugby champions is already celebrating sporting success in the city.

Pupils from Balfour Primary School battled through the local, regional and national heats to become National Tag Rugby Champions 2013.

The Balfour Lions squad of 11 children, aged 9 to 11 years, is a mixed team of boys and girls. Tag Rugby has different rules from the traditional game and involves less physical contact making it more suitable for younger players. Each player wears two plastic “tags”. If the player carrying the ball has one of their tags captured by an opponent, they have just three seconds to pass to a fellow team member or forfeit the ball. Tries are scored by crossing the try lines at either end of the pitch. The game is a fast paced and fun version of rugby, requiring skill and determination to win.

Laura Gibbons, Physical Education Co-ordinator for Balfour Primary School, said: “We are very proud of all our players and it’s a great success for the school. The children have worked very hard and it’s a wonderful achievement. We are keen to keep the momentum going. Maybe some of our players will be in the Rugby World Cups of the future.”

Balfour was on form from the start of the championships. The school fielded two teams in the local Brighton & Hove’s school tournament held during May. Both Balfour teams went through to the local final match and on to the county level competition. The second Balfour team was knocked out at the county match stage in Horsham in June leaving the Balfour Lions to head on to the home of rugby in Rugby.

The Balfour Lions faced three times champions, Stanley, in the final of the national championships on Wednesday 10 July. Roaring to success, the Lions put an end to Stanley’s winning streak to claim victory.

Cllr Geoffrey Bowden, chair of the Economic Development and Culture Committee, said: “Try, try and try again! Congratulations to the Balfour Lions on such a magnificent result. It is always wonderful to hear sporting success stories in our city and I look forward to hearing more from these young champions in years to come.”

Find out about the Rugby World Cup in the city in 2015