A group of rugby fans had the amazing opportunity to hold the Aviva Premiership Trophy that was recently won by Northampton Saints in this year’s bout. The Year 8 students also had a two-hour long coaching session and toured behind the scenes at Franklin’s Gardens.
The tour was top prize in a sports journalism competition that was run by the PE department. Year 8 student Eloise Adcock won after writing about how she had dislocated her hip while playing the sport. She chose 11 friends to join her on the tour of the Saints ground.
They were shown around by Tom Orton who has previously played for the Saints and who is now at Bedford. He coached the students in tag rugby then gave them lunch and took them on a tour that included behind the scenes, such as the kit room, corporate boxes and players’ recreation areas. The highlight of the day came when he brought out the Amlin Challenge Cup and Aviva Premiership Trophies and the students took photos of themselves with the iconic silverware.
Eloise said: ‘I chose people who are really good friends, some that already play and follow rugby and some that enjoy watching and supporting their teams. The day was really good. During the training session we did things that got your brain going and also did quite a lot of passing. We had lunch in one of the boxes and saw the pictures of all the players, plus we saw the original clubhouse.
‘The Saints are my favourite team and my family all support them. All of a sudden Tom and another man walked up with these two cups and I was jumping up and down. I said “Do you know how much that means to me?!” The Aviva one was massive, it was really amazing and the photo of me with the cup is now the screensaver on my phone! It was just an amazing day.’
Teacher Mrs Bryan, who accompanied the students said: ‘This was a fantastic opportunity to see behind the scenes at a top level rugby club. Tom was a brilliant host who gave the students a great deal of information about the players’ routines and training regimes. To see things like the players’ lounge and the corporate boxes was very informative but the absolute highlight was seeing the cups and having photos taken with them. It was an opportunity that we will never forget.’