Hull FC’s Community Week got underway yesterday as over 350 kids competed for the inaugural Hull FC Schools Cup yesterday at the club’s training ground County Road!
As part of Hull FC’s ongoing commitment to grassroots rugby league, the whole first-team spent the last month delivering coaching sessions to pupils in years 8 and 9 in the local area.
The squad paired up and visited an adopted school over a four-week period and the brand new initiative reached its conclusion yesterday with a festival played in the 9s format.
Fourteen schools took part in the festival, which was played in nine-minute matches with schools in groups with winners progressing to the quarter-finals, semi-finals and then the final.
The Schools Cup, in association with the City of Hull Academy, was officiated by players from the Under-19s academy side with the first-team squad coaching their adopted schools.
Players from the first-team aimed to steer their sides to glory and it was Wolfeton High who came out in top in the year 8 final, coached by former pupil Chris Green and first-team captain Gareth Ellis, whilst half-back duo Albert Kelly and Marc Sneyd led the Malet Lambert’s year 9s to victory.
Hull FC head coach Lee Radford said: “There was a fantastic turnout which was really pleasing and it’s something we want to build on annually. We’ll learn from one or two things this time round and progress that for next year.
“The amount of players that are falling out of the game is getting higher and higher every season. To hopefully entice some young people who don’t normally play rugby league on a weekend and to get them interested is really important for us.
“Hopefully we can invite clubs from Leeds and they’ll bring 15 schools with them as well and make it a real stepping stone for a tournament that we want to get off the ground.”
Winning coach Gareth Ellis added: “The lads have been fantastic and we’ve been spending the last four weeks going into schools doing an hour with the lads.
“I think it’s a fantastic idea. To get so many young lads down at the training ground playing rugby league can only be a good thing.
“I’m really pleased for the Wolfreton boys because they’ve worked really hard and they enjoyed the sessions and hopefully they enjoyed it.”
It’s the first of a number of big events planned in the lead up to next week’s official Community game, which sees Huddersfield Giants travel to the KCOM Stadium on Friday 21st July in the final regular season game, also the climax to plenty of activity celebrating community rugby league in Hull.
Tickets for Hull FC’s Community Club Week fixture against Huddersfield Giants are selling fast, with all junior tickets just £5 for this special match to help encourage young fans and players of the future to attend.
Members can also introduce someone new to the sport or friends and family with our annual ‘Friend for a Fiver’ offer.