Despite some stormy conditions on Wednesday night the weather held up and played its part in a fantastic national school festival in Monivea this week.
120 boys and girls were keen to show off their skills they have learned with Connacht Rugby CCRO Peter O'Hara during his visits last term.
7s tag was the game of the day with everyone impressed with the levels of rugby skills on show. There were plenty of volunteers to help out including players from Monivea's youths teams and the future looks bright seeing what these young boys and girls can do on the rugby pitch.
Connacht Coach Development Officer Conor Galvin said, "Peter has done amazing work in the schools and the support the coaches and teachers are giving him is fantastic. The idea of the Aldi Play Rugby blitzes is for players to play the game with their friends with a smile on their face, they have been fantastic for national school rugby across the country."
O'Hara added, "the kids are having fun, and that’s what it’s all about really. For a few of them it’s something new that they can try, and I know the girls in particular are really enjoying it, and hopefully we get a few more kids into Monivea and we’ll see how we go".
Melissa Ní Fatharta is a teacher at Gaelscoil Riadi in Athenry, whose 5th class boys and girls took part in the festival.
"They’ve been enjoying tag rugby all through the entire year. They’ve really taken to it and are looking forward to it next year again."
"There’s been a few this year who are playing rugby for the first time, and a few of the girls in particular have taken to it extremely well. I’ve three or four in my class who have done brilliantly this year and have looked at Monivea and other clubs around Connacht to join, and I’ve had parents coming to me as well saying they’ve really taken to it."
I brought the class to one of the blitzes here in October and it poured rain the entire night, but they didn’t even notice it. They’ve taken to it like ducks to water which is lucky around here with the rain we’ve had!"
The festival brings the curtain down on a fantastic season in Monivea. Hopefully we will see some of these youngsters in action in their local club in September.