Richmond School visited by ORLFC

Date published: Wednesday, March 7, 2012

CHILDREN at Richmond Primary School, Winterbottom Street, Oldham have been learning all about scrums, goal kicks and knock-ons . . . thanks to the school’s partnership with Oldham Rugby League Club.

Players from the town’s Co-operative Championship One side go into school every week to talk to children about the 13-a-side game that has formed a large part of the town’s sporting fabric since 1895.

Wendy May, operational head teacher, said: “Most of the children knew nothing about the sport before the players started to come in, but we now have a thriving rugby league community.

“Lucas Onyango comes in regularly and the children respond very well to him, as they do to the other players who come in. It is all very positive indeed.”

Children in Years 3 to 6 have formed a lunch-time rugby club which the Roughyeds players help to run every Tuesday.

They also split the children into different Year groups to teach them rugby league skills and to talk to them about such things as teamwork and good sportsmanship.

Lucas (30), a winger from Kenya, is in his sixth season with the Roughyeds for whom he has scored 69 tries in 97 games. Among other players involved in the scheme are 19-year-old centre Matthew Fogarty and 22-year-old second-row forward Chris Clarke, both of them Oldhamers.

“We take our community work very seriously,” said club chairman Chris Hamilton. “The players say it is a privilege to work with the children at Richmond Primary. I think they enjoy it as much as the children.”