Former Ireland and Munster captain Paul O’Connell, Ireland Women’s Rugby captain Ciara Griffin and Irish International Niamh Briggs joined young participants Harry Lee, Lucy Lee, Jamie Hurley & Mia Power today to celebrate over 100,000 kids taking part in the Aldi Play Rugby programme during 2017 / 18.
Highlighting the growing popularity of the sport amongst girls, almost half of the children taking part (44%) were primary school girls aged between 7-12.
Participation in the programme has increased by almost 50% since Aldi partnered with the IRFU in 2016. In total, 1,200 schools representing all 32 counties signed up for Aldi Play Rugby during 2017 / 2018, a significant increase from 537 schools in 2016. 120 teachers were trained to deliver the programme with the help of expert coaching from the IRFU.
“With our national and provincial teams performing so well and rugby more popular than ever, it’s brilliant to see more and more children around the country benefit from the training and support Aldi Play Rugby offers. It provides the bibs, cones, rugby balls, tags and the coaching support to get them started. Over 100,000 kids took part in Aldi Play Rugby of which 44,000 of those were girls, which is a great introduction to non-contact rugby and growing participation in rugby amongst females.” added Aldi Play Rugby Ambassador Paul O’Connell.
Schools, teachers and coaches, interested in getting involved in Aldi Play Rugby can register at www.aldi.ie/playrugby