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Rugby teams unite from across the region at DRFC end of season festival

Rugby teams unite from across the region at DRFC end of season festival back to News

MORE than 1,500 youngsters from across the region took part in a festival of rugby held at Darlington Rugby Football Club (RFC) over the bank holiday weekend.

The 46th Darlington RFC Mini and Junior Festival of Rugby saw rugby players aged six to 14 years from across County Durham, Teesside, Tyneside, Cumbria, and North Yorkshire descend on the Club’s Blackwell Meadows ground for the event.

232 rugby matches were played on the Club’s seven pitches over two days as the festival made a welcome return after a two year pause due to the pandemic.

John Morrison, Director of Youth Rugby, Darlington RFC said “We have a proud history of hosting our Mini and Junior Festival of Rugby, the first being back in 1974.

“After a two year break it was fantastic to see hundreds of young rugby players enjoying their sport and having fun here in Darlington.’

‘The atmosphere was electric. It was great to welcome many familiar faces back to Darlington and meet many teams making their debut on our pitches.’

‘We were delighted to host Huddersfield RUFC who made our festival a stop off on their tour weekend, and teams such as Penrith RUFC who made the long journey to take part.’

For the first time, the festival also included U13s Girls rugby, made possible by the thriving girls rugby scene in the area.

Each player was awarded a festival medal by Bill Robson, ex-President of Darlington RFC, and Durham County RFU. And the ‘Fair Play Awards’ celebrated those teams whose players, supporters and coaches best upheld the ethos of England RFU’s approach to ‘teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline, and sportsmanship.’

Bill Robson said ‘Each of the hundreds of young people that I met was a credit to themselves and their clubs.  This was a perfect opportunity for them to shine.’

Alongside the rugby, festival goers enjoyed an assault course, bouncy castles, a BBQ, face painting, rugby skills games and, on the Saturday, a demonstration, including “Have a Go” sessions of archery by the Gentlemen and Lady Archers of Darlington, based at Blackwell Meadows.

John Morrison added “Not only is the festival great for our club, but it also helps put Darlington on the map as a place where rugby thrives. We are incredibly lucky to have two strong rugby clubs in our town with our neighbours Darlington Mowden Park being located just down the road from us.

“The quality of the rugby played, and the excellent approach of players, coaches and supporters during the event gives me great hope for the future of rugby in our area.”

Thank you to our sponsors, My Sportswear, Hubspoke Media, Forge Fitness, Sigmat, and Dual Bound.

Clubs interested in attending the Darlington RFC Mini and Junior Festival of Rugby 2023 (date tbc) can email


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Posted on 16th May 2022