Sunday 20 January 2019

Local schools in a class of their own as Ratoath enjoys rugby revolution

Ratoath RFC

Ratoath RFC has been running since 2005. Ratoath is a relatively young club but is growing very fast -- at present there are 160 children playing from U7 to U19 levels. This year was also the first year for girls' rugby and it is going very well. The club also fielded a senior men's team for the first time and they are competing in North East J3 McGee Cup. The club also held its first summer camp which was a big success. The club has been working with the Leinster Branch for the last three years in providing a CCRO as part of the Play Rugby programme for the area -- firstly Doug Gibson and now James Fay.

There are currently eight schools involved (six of which are primary schools) -- Ratoath SNS, Ratoath JNS, St Paul's NS, Rathbeggan NS, St Seachnalls NS and Gaelscoil Na Rithe. The two secondary schools are Ratoath CC and Dunshaughlin CC. If you would like to get your school involved then contact James Fay on 087-4161611 or e-mail the club info@ratoathrugby.ie. New members are always welcome. Training takes place every Saturday at 12.30 and there is excellent coaching provided. For details on when your age group train or any other queries, contact our website www.ratoathrugby.ie.

Rathbeggan NS

Rathbeggan NS has been part of the Leinster Branch scheme for three years. Rathbeggan School has classes for boys and girls from junior infants up to 6th class. The children play tag rugby from 1st class up to 6th class.

The school has participated in the Leinster Branch school blitzes for the last three years, picking up some awards along the way, most skillful and best fair play awards. Mary Devine and Principal Kieran Rushe enthusiastically support the scheme. The 4th classes are looking forward to the 4th class area blitz which takes place in the coming weeks.

Gaelscoil na Rithe

Gaelscoil na Rithe is an Irish School for boys and girls located in Dunshaughlin, Co Meath and the school have classes from junior infants to 6th class. This is the first year in which the school has taken part in the Play Rugby Programme. So far this year girls and boys from 1st class to 5th class have been introduced to the skills of rugby and have played full matches of tag rugby, 6th class will be starting shortly. The school and Principal Breandan de Bhal have embraced the programme and teacher Paul Holland has given the CCRO Fay some great help. The school are currently looking forward to taking part in the 4th class area blitz.

Ratoath SNS

Ratoath Senior National School have had a CCRO in place for the last three years and there are more than 500 children from 3rd class up to 6th class. The school have been taking part in the Leinster Branch 6th class blitzes for the last three years and have also enjoyed hosting the Heineken Cup. The school have also held their own 6th class blitzes.

Principal Maurice Kearney has always been very helpful towards rugby along with teacher Gemma Dillon. The school will have teams from 4th, 5th and 6th classes taking part in the upcoming blitzes.

St Seachnalls

St Seachnalls is a mixed school in the village of Dunshaughlin. This is the first year in which they have taken part in the Play Rugby programme. So far, all of the 3rd and 4th classes have received six sessions of rugby, learning the basic skills and playing matches of tag rugby. Fifth class are currently in the middle of their coaching sessions. Principal Jim Gilligan has been of great help to CCRO Fay and hopefully this will be the start of many years of rugby in St Seachnalls.

St Paul's NS Ratoath

St Paul's National School in Ratoath is a mixed school with classes from Junior infants up to 4th class -- it is a relatively young school but growing fast. St Paul's has been part of the Play Rugby Programme for two years.

Principal Morag McGowen has embraced the programme and is always very helpful. This will be the first time the boys and girls from 4th class will take part in the tag blitz and they are all looking forward to it.

Ratoath JNS

Ratoath Junior National School have been part of the Play Rugby Programme for the last three years. Boys and girls from 1st and 2nd class take part in the programme. They mainly get taught the basic skills through fun games while gradually being introduced to tag rugby.

Aine Kelly has always been very enthusiastic towards the programme and the children love the game. Some of the young girls have even joined up to Ratoath RFC to play tag which is great to see.

Ratoath Community College

Ratoath CC have Junior and Senior teams taking part in the Leinster Junior and Senior Development Cups. Both sides have done quite well, with the Juniors getting two wins and the Seniors getting three wins (and were defeated by the eventually winners!). This is a step up from last year. There is fantastic work being done by teachers with Ivor Keane and Dave Nelson really pushing the game. They are trying to start up a 1st year/2nd year team with good numbers turning out for the first session. Hopefully girls' tag rugby will be starting up shortly.

Dunshaughlin Community College

Dunshaughlin Community College have a Senior team competing in the Leinster Development Cup and are still in contention for the Leinster Development Shield. They have had some great performances this year. The school are also competing in the Leinster U14 Development League. Hopefully this will help provide numbers for a Junior side next year to enter into the Junior Development league. Teacher Tommy Lynch and Gamesmaster Mick O'Keefe have been great help in promoting rugby in the school. Girls' tag rugby is to begin shortly.

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