Goresbrook School pupils enjoy a day out at Twickenham
PUBLISHED: 13:00 14 February 2018
Pupils from Goresbrook School in Dagenham enjoyed a day to remember at Twickenham on Saturday as they paraded as flagbearers on the pitch ahead of England's NatWest 6 Nations clash with Wales.
The opportunity was afforded to them thanks to their involvement in the CBRE All Schools programme this season.
Launched in 2012, the initiative has been developed by the RFU to increase the amount of rugby played in schools, encourage new players to join local clubs and create a positive legacy through the sport and its core values.
Last autumn representatives from the RFU’s official partner Canterbury conducted kit-design workshops around the country, one of which was attended by Goresbrook School.
The bespoke kit designed by the pupils will be delivered to the school in the coming weeks for the teams to play in for the rest of the season and years to come.
Stepping out onto the hallowed turf of Rugby HQ with a packed Twickenham crowd watching on, 13-year-old pupil Colin Mansfield said it was a day he will not forget in a hurry.
“It means the world to me to come down here and watch England vs Wales,” he said.
“It was my first ever live match of rugby so it’s really special.
“I’ve managed to meet so many people and my favourite part of the day is being able to go onto the pitch at Twickenham. It’s a huge honour.”
Goresbrook School were one of 80 to make the trip to South West London having been a part of the CBRE All Schools programme this season.
The initiative aims to take rugby into 750 state secondary schools by 2019 and ahead of the match pupils were treated to a lunch and photoshoot with England internationals Ellis Genge and Harriet Millar-Mills, as well as being given new Canterbury kit to wear as flagbearers.
“I started playing when I was nine years old. My shape and build is good to play rugby,” said Colin.
“It’s a fun sport to be a part of because you feel like a team.
“I’ve made a lot of friends through playing rugby. My best friend plays too and we get to play every week so that’s brilliant.
“There’s so much to enjoy about rugby and it’s great that I have the chance to express myself while playing.”
Ahead of Saturday’s 12-6 win for England, Ellis Genge gave a talk to the visiting schools about what rugby has done for their life and how the sport’s core values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship can apply to many real-life situations – not just on the rugby field.
“When I was younger we didn’t go too far but some of these schools have travelled from all over the country to come down here, so it’s a great day all round,” said Genge.
“It’s great to see all of the young rugby players from around the country coming together as one.
“Some of these kids would never have had the chance to come to Twickenham so it’s a wonderful opportunity in that respect and they all seemed to make the most of it.”
CBRE All Schools supported by Canterbury is one of the RFU’s key legacy programmes, set up to increase the number of state secondary schools playing rugby union in England.
Visit www.englandrugby.com/allschools to find out more.