Minis - U8s
Welcome to the Ruts U8s Team Page!
Training runs from September to April, on Sunday mornings 10am-11.30pm (though we often overrun). We operate a ‘soft start’ where we will be setting up from 10am onwards while running some warm up games. The more technical and game-based coaching starts at 10.30am. You get great value for your membership fees as we do not finish holding training sessions until the end of March each season. Even then there may be one or two Festivals that take place in April.
Training starts on Sunday 3 September and runs to the end of April 2018.
U8 is the correct group for girls and boys who start Year 3 in Sept 2017.
Each Sunday, we will either be at Poplar Road or the School ground (off Mostyn Road), please check the Mini Fixtures page on the website. We may also have occasional joint training and play friendly tag rugby games with other local clubs. We also enter a number of local rugby Festivals during the season. The fixture list will be on the main website and we'll keep parents posted weekly via email. Please ensure that you complete and hand in a membership form (and give your email address to Ali) when you turn up for the first time, or else we can't keep you updated on changes. In case of poor weather on a Sunday morning which could cause a late venue change, please check your emails and check the Fixtures page on the website.
As for the training, we mix it up every week between multiple exercises, practice matches and skill-themed games that will all help develop the children's rugby. We hope to improve their soft rugby skills (obvious things like passing, catching and tagging) while giving the kids lots of exercise (plenty of running and occasional press ups!) to getting them to work together as a team. We run them around a lot!
If you're interested in joining us or would just like to try rugby for the first time, please do come along. New starters are offered two weeks' free trial sessions with no pressure to join afterwards (although we're confident you'll have fun!).
Please contact our U8 Team Manager, Ali for more info (contact details at the top right of this page).
U8 Tag Rugby Rules
The rules of tag rugby are quite simple at this age and it's easy to get started. However, if you or your child are interested in reading up on the rules we've created an easy-to-read version.
Good for your Karma… Get involved!
You can also get involved by joining the coaching team, helping with admin or becoming a volunteer first aider. All of our coaches are volunteers and we would willingly welcome more help. We had a great time last season, but the old adage that many hands make light work is still very true. There's a job for everybody! Speak to Ali, Stuart or any of the coaches.
When we're training at Poplar Road, there's often a BBQ offering bacon butties, hot dogs etc so you can enjoy a Sunday morning brunch. The BBQ is run by parents on a rota so when the U8s turn comes round, be prepared to volunteer for half an hour or so - the BBQ is of course a great place to warm up on a cold day and it's under cover too.
Your child will need to dress to suit the many variations of the English weather because we only train outdoors. It would be VERY wise to invest in a cheap pair of rugby/football boots (studded, not moulded and not for astroturf) for the kids because the surface we play on will be slippery for much of the season. Club shirts/shorts etc are not compulsory for training but your child will need a club shirt to take part in Festivals or Tournaments (though we must point out that our club kit looks great!). A set of skins to go under their kit and a water bottle (marked with their name) are also a very good idea. Boots and most kit is cheaply picked up from local sports shops or online. Club branded kit is available from the shop at the ground in Poplar Road (open on Sunday mornings).
Rugby at this age is non-contact. However, like all sports, accidents are possible, so some children like to wear a gumshield, just in case. It is optional, its good practice for them for future use and we will not discourage it.
If you have ANY questions at all, contact Ali, Stuart or any of the coaches listed.
Over the season, we will be invited to take part in 6 or more Festivals which the kids love. Most of these are also pretty local (Wimbledon, Richmond, Sutton, Esher etc). For those new to the Rugby Festival scene, here are a few tips:
- clothing: skins or other thermal tops/leggings are well worth wearing (for kids and adults!) - they add warmth and a little protection. No zips or tags that could snag or catch someone! A spare fleece, trackie bottoms, coat are all good for keeping warm (and dry) in the time spent between games.
- footwear: Festivals always seem to be muddy! Wellies or waterproof boots for adults and kids are a good idea (or crocs if it's a bit milder). Rugby boots for the matches of course!
- rainwear: do bring a brolly to stand under whilst watching when it's wet. Also wise to bring a couple of old towels to dry kids off before getting into the car, or to sit on to keep the mud off the seats.
- snacks and drinks: there's always food available at festivals (burgers, bacon butties etc) but if that's not what you/your child would go for, a packed lunch and nibbles are worth considering. Whilst a water bottle is a necessity, most children at festivals are hot chocolate-powered!
- other stuff: there's quite a lot of standing around between games, so camping seats are welcome for legs large and small. Books, newspapers can help to pass the time for parents - the children always seem to find things to do.
Finally: please aim to arrive in good time. Whilst the SatNav might show a relatively quick journey time for a Sunday morning, there are literally hundreds of other children and families driving to the festival so there is always a traffic jam once you get near, and the parking is usually a bit of a walk from the venue itself. Car sharing is an excellent idea if you can arrange it. If you are struggling to make plans to get to a Festival, let Ali know as we may be able to get you to car share with another family.
End of Season Tour
At the end of the season, over the first May Bank holiday weekend, the club goes on tour! The club usually goes to Brean Sands (Somerset) where we take a huge number of kids across many age groups to play in the Burnham-on-Sea Rugby Festival. If you are interested in going on tour (we went for the first time last season and it was fantastic) please let us know.