Galway side Galway Corinthians RFC were one of 20 mini rugby teams to take part in the Aviva Mini Rugby Festival at the Aviva Stadium last weekend. On Saturday over 200 players had the unique opportunity to play on the same famous Aviva pitch as their heroes such as Dave Kearney, Robbie Henshaw and Peter O’Mahony.
The teams also got to meet one of the Six Nations winning squad in the shape of Luke Fitzgerald. This was the second successive year that the National Festival was held at the home of Irish Rugby, the Aviva Stadium. The 20 U-10 side from clubs from each of the four provinces played against each other in a non-competitive and fun environment.
The players had the opportunity to develop their skills alongside teams from all over the country and pick up some hints and tips from Irish International Luke Fitzgerald, who spent time with all 20 clubs throughout the day.
Each of the competitors also received a certificate of participation signed by Irish Internationals Paul O’Connell, Rory Best and Jamie Heaslip to commemorate their memorable day on the Aviva Stadium pitch.
Ireland International Luke Fitzgerald, said; “I was lucky enough as a young kid at Lansdowne to run out at the Aviva before an International match. It’s really inspiring to play at the national stadium and no doubt it will be the same for all the kids that played here today.”
Mark Russell, Aviva Sponsorship Manager, said; “This was an amazing day for everyone involved in the Aviva Mini Rugby Festivals. To be able to open up the Stadium to these young players was a key part of our sponsorship of the Mini Rugby. It’s initiatives like Mini Rugby that work at a grass roots level that help to develop the game technically and enhance its popularity among children across the country.”
Hendrik Kruger, IRFU Age Grade Manager, said; “Luke’s (Fitzgerald) presence was a great surprise for the players and maybe in the future, one or two of these young players might be a future international sharing their knowledge with the next generation of underage players..”