With the 8th Annual International Junior Rugby Festival approaching, the talented youth from Freeport Rugby Football Club traveled to Florida to gain some much-needed experience against quality competition in the inaugural Weston Rugby Challenge Cup. Hosted by Okapi Wanderers RFC, the one-day tournament was a tremendous opportunity for Freeport’s U12, U14 and U16 teams to showcase their skills and build chemistry just weeks before the festival.
Freeport Youth Rugby Brings the Heat to Florida
By Freeport Rugby Football Club
May 11, 2018 - 9:34:57 AM
“We really appreciated Okapi hosting this event for not only our players but all the participants,” said Stephen Sheehan, Freeport RFC’s Youth Development Officer. “It was rewarding to watch our kids capitalize on months of hard work and play in front of family and friends who made the trip.”
The Florida trip was the culmination of months of hard work and dedication from players, coaches and parents. The U16 team put in extra work in the weeks leading up to the trip, including training with the senior team on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“The games showed me how dedicated you have to be to play rugby,” explained Edward Walkin, who attends Jack Hayward High. “We as a team have to work together on improving our skills and try harder in practice and our future games.”
For many of the youth rugby players, the trip represented the first chance to ever travel to the United States. Beyond competing on the field, the players also built off-field chemistry that is invaluable in building the club culture.
“The trip was, in its own way, a learning experience altogether,” said U16 player Quinton Sands. “I learned what it is like to spend time with teammates and I gained some new friends.”
Freeport’s youth teams, which included several standout female players, showed tremendous heart against Key Biscayne, Wellington and Okapi. Jake Edey and Andrew Lane stood out with brilliant tries for the U12 team. Titus Lockhart and Michael Sanchez displayed their brute force and power in a highly entertaining U16 match against Okapi.
Though the trip ended without any hardware, the diligent work fundraising, organizing and training resulted in a resoundingly successful trip for Freeport RFC.
Stay up to date with everything going on with Freeport RFC by liking the club's Facebook page (Facebook.com/FreeportRFC) and following on Twitter (@FreeportRFC) and Instagram (@FreeportRugbyClub).
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