Thursday, 27 April 2017

The cub became a lion

This was Jamie after first becoming a proud junior at Aireborough Rugby Club.

And below centre, you can see him putting in a tackle last Sunday morning - five seasons on.

The photo was taken at Heaton Moor Rugby Club in Stockport where the Aireborough Under 9s and Under 10s were on tour.

I doubt that any other touring party at any level of the game has ever looked smarter prior to their departure.

Thanks to the generosity of local businessman Chris Gaunt at Select Uniforms in Rawdon, all 27 players were sponsored personalised hoodies, polos and tee shirts, plus specially made kit bags and caps.  Us coaches were kitted out too.  What kindness from an absolutely top bloke.

After dropping by to say thanks to Chris, we all made our way to Gulliver's World theme park in Warrington for several hours of fun.  Big people too.

Well, I say that.  Under 10s coaches Matt and Dom were nervous wrecks by the end.

Dom (in sunglasses) is trying to look cool but just notice how tightly he's holding on to that rollercaster.

Next, it was back to our pristine overnight accommodation at Terra Nova School near Jodrell Bank where much pizza was consumed.

Followed by nightcaps for the babysitters.

And then it was time for the focal point of the trip with two extremely competitive games the next morning. This was the combined Under 9 squads getting together afterwards, as is rugby tradition.

But I'm afraid this tale has a somewhat sad conclusion.

Jamie adores the club and all of his teammates.  However, despite the best efforts of the proper coaches and their coach helper (i.e. me), he's decided he wants a break from the sport.

After more than half his life spending his Sunday mornings chasing a rugby ball, he wants to try some other stuff and may well come back to it.  I hope he does.

In the meantime, I'm so grateful to Aireborough for all the club has done for him.  And the wonderful men, women, boys and girls there can be assured that I'll continue to do what I can (other than coach helping) to support them long into the future.


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