Former England rugby stars visit Old Hales Rugby Club

Old Hales Rugby Club were treated to an early Christmas with a surprise visit from former England rugby stars David Flatman and Danielle Waterman.

David and Danielle were there to recognise Old Hales RFC as Quilter Kids First Champions for the impressive Kids First approach that the club is taking in creating a great rugby environment for the young players.

Christmas spirits were high as the former England players joined in with the kids from the under 7’s up to the under 13’s. The training encompassed some imaginative and unique games helping to create a fun environment which the kids clearly enjoyed. This approach has certainly influenced the club’s girl participation which has seen a huge increase from a starting point of 3 to the current impressive figure of 55.

Old Hales RFC is the fourth of eight Champions this season to be selected for the prestigious grassroots award. Following on from last season’s excitement around the programme, Quilter are once again travelling across the country, recognising both schools and clubs who have gone above and beyond to put kids first. Winners will be rewarded for thriving in at least one of the following areas: creating a great rugby environment, upskilling coaches, increased participation and growing the female game.

Former World Cup winner, Danielle Waterman commented: “What the coaches are doing here at Old Hales Rugby Club is fantastic. At this age the more fun you can introduce into training the better. These kids are all clearly loving their sessions and are learning the basic skills that will set them up with a great foundation for the game.”

On the club being named as a Quilter Kids First Champion, Ollie Taylor, Club Coaching Coordinator at Old Hales Rugby Club said: “The Quilter Kids First Rugby programme has enabled our players, coaches and volunteers to enjoy everything about rugby on and off the pitch. We have seen some great fun and imaginative sessions taking place within age groups which are really challenging and engaging players and coaches alike. It’s fantastic for our club to be recognised as a Quilter Kids First Champion and its testament to the hard work everyone involved with the club puts in.”

In addition to the training session with England rugby stars, a select group of under 13 to under 7 players from Old Hales RFC will also have the honour of playing at the home of English Rugby, on the hallowed turf of Twickenham Stadium at the end of the season. The kids from winning clubs and schools will be treated as England Rugby players for the day as they enter through the famous Rose and Poppy Gates, visit the England changing room and sing the national anthem in front of their friends and families.

Mike Mainwaring, Head of Sponsorship at Quilter, said: “The Quilter Kids First approach is all about putting children first. Aimed at Under 7 to Under 13 boys and girls, it upskills coaches and creates a great rugby environment, so that everyone stays in the game for longer. It’s great that Old Hales Rugby Club have adopted the Kids First approach to create such a great rugby environment, they fully deserve the recognition that has come their way.”

For more information on Quilter Kids First Champions, and to nominate your local club or school please visit: