Budding athletes learn new rugby skills at fun camp

SCRUM (clockwise from left) Evan Watts, Julian Davis, Joe Hunter, Zach Clow, Thomas Atkinson and Joe Dubock, all 12. Picture: Malcolm Wells (122811-7311)
SCRUM (clockwise from left) Evan Watts, Julian Davis, Joe Hunter, Zach Clow, Thomas Atkinson and Joe Dubock, all 12. Picture: Malcolm Wells (122811-7311)

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WHEN Simon Burns heard that youngsters at his rugby club wanted to get more active after watching the Olympics, he came up with a great idea.

The 41-year-old decided to set up a week-long summer camp for people aged six to 17 so they could learn new rugby skills and get better at the game.

Around 60 boys and girls from United Services Rugby Club were taught how to handle, kick and run with the ball at Clarence playing fields, in Long Curtain Road, Old Portsmouth. There were kicking and passing clinics for the older players and fun games with rugby balls for the younger ones.

London Irish rugby union club coach Ben Lee was one of a few expert coaches who helped out during the camp, which finished yesterday.

Mr Burns, who has been director of United Services Rugby Club, for a year, said it was the first time the club had held a summer camp.

‘It was that much of a success we intend to do it again next year,’ he said.

‘The idea came about when I heard the youngsters saying they wanted get more active after watching the Olympics.

‘It’s been extremely enjoyable.’

The playing fields are the home of the club’s junior squad.

‘The thing I’ve got most out of it is seeing the kids go home every day with great big smiles on their faces,’ Mr Burns, of Gosport, said.

‘They’ve learned new skills and it’s helped to up their game before the new season kicks off next month.

‘The kids also learned the core values of rugby – respect, discipline and enjoyment. The feedback from everyone has been very positive.’

Mr Burns added: ‘It’s been hectic in terms of organising this but everyone has pulled together.’

Yesterday certificates and summer camp T-shirts supplied by the club’s kit sponsor Raging Bull were presented to everyone who took part.

For more information about the club visit usportsmouth.com

Each day The News’ Summer of Fun guide helps you plan what to do and where to go whatever your budget.

We are featuring events which have taken place and giving you some fantastic ideas to entertain the kids – whether we’re blessed with blistering heat or drenched in downpours.


· Visitors will get an eyeful of classic cars, motorbikes and military vehicles at Gosporteers Vehicle Rally on Monday.

The event at Stokes Bay kicks off at 10am and the Mayor of Gosport Councillor Richard Dickson will officially welcome the event an hour later. For more information contact (023) 92 584371.

· Kite flyers from as far as New Zealand, Singapore and India will descend upon Southsea Common for Portsmouth International Kite Festival.

The event runs until Monday. Visitors are welcome from 10am. Entry is free.

· Local painters are putting on an exhibition at Emsworth Commununity Centre tomorrow. The event is being held in a bid to raise funds for Emsworth Community Association. Entry begins at 10am.

· People will get to walk around RFS Vice Admiral Kulakov, a Russian anti-submarine destroyer at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard until August 28. Entry is free.