Banff RFC held their “biggest ever” Juniors Rugby Festival last Sunday, with over 40 teams descending on Duff House Playing Fields according to the club’s Micros and Minis Convenor Alexandra Harris.
Having watched her son play minis rugby as a parent helper and now as the club’s Micros and Minis Convenor, Alexandra Harris has helped keep the Juniors arm of Banff RFC fit and healthy for several years now.
And a significant part of doing so, she explained, is organising the club’s annual Junior Rugby Festival, which this reached new heights with 44 teams from 11 different clubs descending on the Banff playing fields to play across age groups ranging from Primary one to seven last Sunday.
“For our junior section, the Rugby Festival is probably the most important thing we’ll do all year, and this year was our biggest festival that we’d ever held; when I counted, I think there were over 90 games of rugby played on Sunday,” Alexandra told SCRUM.
“Here in the north east, each club hosts an annual festival, and this arrangement has been going for over 10 years now, but our one has just grown and grown and grown, because I just keep inviting all of these other clubs!
“It was a good, good day and a great festival, and it’s amazing to see our pitches just covered in kids playing rugby.”
This year, Alexandra was glad to explain, Banff were able to field a team at each age grade, something that she feels encapsulates the spirit of participation in which the festival is organised.
“It’s not a competition as such; teams just come along, play some rugby, have some fun and develop their skills, there were no winners or losers,” the Micros and Minis Convenor explained.
“At the end, everyone who competed in the micros was awarded with a certificate for participation, and in the minis, each team’s coach picked someone from their team who had shown good sportsmanship over the course of the day and their Player of the Tournament.”
While it might not hit the headlines, the Junior section of Banff is a significant and important part of keeping the north of Scotland club going, says Alexandra.
“We didn’t have a Junior section for a while due to a lack of coaches but it started again last year, and it’s developed really quickly, and it is a big part of our club,” Alexandra added.
“The Junior section feeds the senior section, and in terms of the wider club, it creates a great family atmosphere because everybody mucks in.
“There’s several people like me who started as a parent helper and now hold multiple roles within the club – even though my son no longer plays!”
Image caption: Minis players in action at Banff Juniors Festival last weekend.