Helensburgh Rugby Club hosted its annual end of season youth rugby festival recently.

The event has grown in recent years to become one of the biggest of its type with more than 400 young players from ages 5 to 12 participating. This year the tournament organisers welcomed players, coaches and parents from eight different clubs, with Bishopton, Allen Glens, Loch Lomond, Birkmyre, Cartha, Cambuslang and Peebles competing alongside the host club.

A number of the clubs brought with them their ‘Micros’ (P1s and P2s) with coaches jointly organising some fun games and training opportunities throughout the day. The other age groups represented from P3 – P7 were allocated locations across the first and second team pitches which were marked out into appropriately sized playing areas.

The matches started on a slightly overcast day, but the firm ground provided a fantastic opportunity for fast flowing running rugby with some high scoring exciting games.

Although matches played are naturally competitive in nature with some committed tackling, strong running and great effort displayed by the players, the day is as much about educating and enabling the young players to develop and reach their potential through rugby.

It is also about creating an ethos of respect and team spirit in sport. As in previous years the winners of the tournament in each age group were presented with a large ‘cake’ to share with their players and coaches which always seems to go down well!

On completion of the festival all players and coaches were watered and fed before travelling back home.

Helensburgh Youth Rugby would like to thank all the visiting (and home) players, coaches and families for attending the day and creating such a great atmosphere. Gareth Adkins (tournament coordinator) extended a massive thank you to all the volunteers and parents who made this highly successful event possible, providing home baking, setting up stalls, overseeing the BBQ and food stations among many other tasks.

The Festival again helps to showcase the thriving youth section at Helensburgh Rugby Club and the way that all involved (parents, players, coaches, and wider club members) pull together for the club.

(All photos by Robert Bell of West Highland Photography)