Team Ports supports junior sport
From Port of Jersey
29th April 2023
Jersey Rugby Football Club’s Under 12s became the first ever Jersey Minis and Juniors rugby team to represent Jersey at the London Irish International Mini & U12 Rugby Festival, thanks to sponsorship from Ports of Jersey. The festival is the biggest one-day rugby festival in Europe and sees more than 2,500 children playing rugby across all age groups with 36 teams in the under 12s section alone.
16 players and three coaches travelled to Hazelwood, the home of London Irish Amateur Rugby Football Club, where the scale of the event became evident as the team was welcomed by bagpipes and the festival mascot. As the youngsters walked through the arch to the playing area, they were welcomed by acres of marked out rugby pitches and the buzz of excitement as they anticipated a competitive day of rugby.
Jersey (grouped in pool C) were scheduled to play against 5 teams from England, Ireland and Scotland, an experience of international rugby rarely found for the Island’s young players.
The team was met by strong competition from Bishop Stortford who went on to top the group with their dominant performance throughout the day. Jersey grew into the competition, putting in some great competitive performances, finishing their group mid-table.
The Lead Coach for Jersey RFC U12s, Matt Journeaux, said: “The highlight of the day for the young players was making new friends in the wider rugby community and embracing the festival spirit. With competitive rugby and a carnival atmosphere, there was never a dull moment and despite a long day (and all variations of the British weather), the team returned home with huge smiles, festival medals, match shirts and experiences they will remember for years to come.
“We are incredibly grateful for the generous sponsorship from Ports of Jersey, which has supported a unique and memorable experience for the players. The opportunity to play against strong UK teams and visit a festival of this scale is unprecedented and wouldn’t be possible without sponsorship from Team Ports. I have had the privilege of seeing first-hand the benefit our squad gains from these kinds of opportunities. This valuable match experience will help them continue their development as players.”