On Wednesday 14th March Exeter Saracens hosted the first ever Exeter Schools u13 Girls Rugby Festival. Exeter Saracens has been working with local schools to promote u13s rugby for girls and started back in November by holding a coaching evening for teachers to give them the knowledge and confidence to teach contact rugby to girls. This work has been supported by the Exeter Chiefs Community Rugby department who have held coaching sessions in schools specifically for girls in this age group. Staff from the schools have also been supported by coaches from Saracens and Devon RFU. The u13s game is seen as a transition from tag into contact rugby and is basically 7 a side tag rugby but the tag has been replaced by a proper tackle, other than that it is a game the girls are already familiar with and so fast flowing high scoring games which involve everyone result.
Five schools were represented at the festival and although many of the players were initially nervous about tackling, once they had got a game
under their belts the nerves disappeared and the girls enjoyed a great afternoon of rugby. The schools taking part were West Exe, St Lukes, St Peters, Cullompton and Clyst Vale who were able to muster two teams. The afternoons rugby was watched by Catherine Spencer, former England Ladies
captain and now SW rugby development manager for the RFUW. As well as enjoying the rugby Catherine also presented medals and trophies to all those taking part. Third place went to Cullompton, runners up Clyst Vale B and winners were Clyst Vale A. Overall the festival was judged a success and it is hoped that it will run again next year with more schools involved.