Members of Parliament have paid official tribute to the youngsters who took part in the RFL National Champion Schools Competition this year.
The competition features players of both genders, aged between 11 and 15. Most of the finals in the various age groups took place over the weekend of the Challenge Cup final.
Around 20,000 players participated in the tournament, representing 1200 schools. The winning schools were boys and girls teams from Castleford Academy, Sirius Academy, South Holderness High School, Leigh Academy (Kent), Dowdales High School and Settle College.
Parliamentary Rugby League Group Chairman, Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland tabled a motion in the House of Commons which read:
“WINNERS OF RUGBY FOOTBALL LEAGUE NATIONAL CHAMPION SCHOOLS COMPETITION
“That this House recognises the achievement of the schools and players that took part in the finals of the Rugby Football League’s National Champion Schools Competition over the course of the Challenge Cup weekend; further recognises the competition as the largest rugby tournament in the world with over 1,200 teams and 20,000 participants involved annually; believes this demonstrates the enormous hard work and talent involved from all finalists; congratulates the winners Castleford Academy, Sirius Academy, South Holderness High School, Leigh Academy (Kent), Dowdales High School and Settle College; and is confident that with such talented players, dedicated coaches and staff, and parents and volunteers, rugby league in schools is in a very positive position.”
Mulhooland himself was delighted with the impact made by all participants and their support networks in the competition.
“The RFL National Champion Schools Competition is a fantastic tournament and is testament to the players who faced such tough opposition over the course of their route to the finals as well as their coaches, parents and wider school staff who made it possible,” he said.
“The logistics for such a large tournament are significant, and we are all grateful to them for their work in securing rugby league’s future.”
Chairman of England Schools Rugby League David Gent added: “The RFL National Champion Schools Competition continues to go from strength-to-strength with growing numbers of teams taking part throughout the UK.
“It is the world’s biggest rugby tournament and with so many teams, everybody is grateful to those who manage the competition and make it run so smoothly so we can watch the teams take to the field and enjoy playing sport.”