Tuesday 3rd February 2009 by C. Freeman
Year 8 rugby players have won the Northamptonshire Emerging Schools Challenge Shield competition. The team came top of the local league, before going on to face the winning teams from South and East Northants.
At the final, held in Northampton, they played against Towcester's Sponne School. After three tries, one from Calum Whitehead and two from Taylor Dickson, Brooke Weston emerged victorious with a 15-0 score.
Teacher Mr Clasper said: 'The tackling was unbelievable, they played really well in defence and are a very strong team. They were fantastic. Afterwards we joined the Sponne team for a coaching session from one of the RFU coaches.'
The team were presented with certificates and medals by Alex Hadley, the Northants RFU rugby development officer. The Emerging Schools competition is part of the HSBC rugby festival scheme which encourages teams in schools which traditionally do not play it as a primary sport. It has grown over the past decade to involve more than 50,000 students a year with shield and trophy events for students in Years 7, 8 and 9.
Mr Clasper said: 'The current Year 8 team are very strong and hopefully when they get to Year 10 they will be entered into the Daily Mail National Cup competition. We usually only enter teams into that if have a fairly good chance of getting though the first two rounds but our main focus is on winning as much as we can over the next few seasons.'
Many of the boys currently playing in Brooke Weston's teams hadn't played rugby before coming here. Now some play for local teams and at county and regional level. Brooke Weston has joined the Pathfinder scheme where players are registered at the RFU so when they leave for university or to pursue a career, they are encouraged to continue the sport in the future.
Mr Clasper said: 'I just want the students here to enjoy playing, that's my job, to let them enjoy rugby so hopefully when they leave here they will pick it up at university and in the local clubs. When these competitions come along if we can win one or two then it's just the icing on the cake. The Year 8 team have done really well because they have only been playing for a year before this and have played a couple of games and beaten Northampton Grammar School and Bishop Stopford in the past.'