Schoolchildren get into World Cup spirit with rugby training sessions

Picture by Julian Brown 18/09/15''Rugby World Cup preview at Walkabout, Blackpool''Pictured left, staff members, Nick Kyriakou, Luke Haveman, Hayley Stueven and Marty Herd
Picture by Julian Brown 18/09/15''Rugby World Cup preview at Walkabout, Blackpool''Pictured left, staff members, Nick Kyriakou, Luke Haveman, Hayley Stueven and Marty Herd
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Dozens of youngsters from primary schools across Blackpool will take part in a special rugby training session early next month.

Around 60 pupils will ‘try’ their hands at conversions, passing, and tackling at Blackpool Sports Centre in West Park Drive.

Picture by Julian Brown 18/09/15''Rugby World Cup preview at Walkabout, Blackpool''Pictured left, staff members, Nick Kyriakou, Luke Haveman, Hayley Stueven and Marty Herd

Picture by Julian Brown 18/09/15''Rugby World Cup preview at Walkabout, Blackpool''Pictured left, staff members, Nick Kyriakou, Luke Haveman, Hayley Stueven and Marty Herd

The session will coincide with the rugby world cup, which kicked off yesterday, in a bid to get more children interested in the sport.

Blackpool Council leader Simon Blackburn said: “We always want to make sure children in Blackpool grow up playing sports and keeping healthy.

“Rugby is a great sport for children to try out as it teaches discipline and teamwork, as well as the importance of regular activity.

“Hopefully this will get more children interested in taking up rugby and, in a few years’ time, I hope to see some of these youngsters lining up for England at Twickenham.”

The six-week-long tournament, held in England and Wales, will see reigning champions New Zealand attempting to defend their crown, while England will be hoping to replicate their famous victory of 2003, when they became the first team in the Northern Hemisphere to lift the trophy.

The one-off session was originally due to take place yesterday - on the same day England kicked off their World Cup campaign against Fiji at Twickenham - but was cancelled at short notice because of bad weather, the council said.

It will now be held on Thursday, October 1.

The regular‘Little Sports’ sessions are held at Blackpool Sports Centre from 9.15am to 10am for two to four year olds, and from 10.15am to 11am for five to seven year olds, every Saturday.

Classes at Palatine Sports Centre, in St Anne’s Road, are held from 10am until 11am every Monday.

Each session costs £2.

One venue in the resort that plans to screen the World Cup on high-definition big screens is Walkabout in Queen Street.

Aussie manager Nick Kyriakou told The Gazette: “The World Cup is without doubt the biggest event of the year, with rugby fans in for a treat from this incredible tournament.

“Everything’s in place - food, drink, TVs, post and pre-game entertainment, and of course the rugby itself.”

The venue, which was rebuilt after it was gutted by blaze in June 2013, is also offering fans the option of booking an area of the bar, alongside VIP service.