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March 14th, 2024

Youngsters tackle rugby skills and games at interschool event

Boys and girls from six north Norfolk schools have given rugby a try as part of a North Walsham Rugby Club programme.

It comes as the interest in junior rugby – particularly among girls – is “exploding”, according to the Vikings’ director of rugby, Niall Lear.

More than 500 Year 7, 8 and 9 pupils took part in the latest round of the programme at the club’s grounds off Norwich Road in Scottow.

Mr Lear said: “During a full day, they get a lot of exposure to rugby. In the morning we have a series of skills sessions, and afternoon we play interschool matches.


North Walsham Rugby Club coaches, from left, Connor Dudley, Benji Hewitt, Niall Lear, Ethan Holmwood and Kurt Ehret at the training day

“Our partner schools also have the option for us to come to them and deliver 15 hours of coaching, free of charge.”

“The response has been really positive and school staff, pupils and parents all seem to enjoy it.

“Interest in girls’ rugby especially is massively on the up, it’s exploding.”

Thousands of pupils have taken part in the programme since it was launched six years ago.

Schools taking part in its latest, six-week round included Aylsham High School, Broadland High Ormiston Academy, Flegg High Ormiston Academy, North Walsham High School, and Stalham High School.

Year 7 girls from Broadland High Ormiston Academy in Hoveton at the training day

Flagship Homes – Flagship Group’s housebuilding arm – became a programme sponsor in November, joining the Wensum Trust and Flagship partner firm Lovell, which sponsors the club’s first XV team.

Tony Tann, Flagship Homes managing director, said: “We’re all about giving back to the communities we serve and we’re thrilled to be a part of the Vikings’ programme.

“We love the chance to encourage youngsters to stay active and healthy. We’re excited to team up with the club and help kids grow and thrive.”

For more information on Flagship Homes, visit or follow the Flagship Homes Instagram. North Walsham RFC’s website is at

Stalham High School Year 7s also took part