Rugby success for St Oswald's pupils

Pupils at a York primary school enjoyed success on the rugby pitch after winning an inter-schools competition.

The tag rugby team at St Oswald’s CE Primary School is run by Sewell Facilities Officer Martin Abley, who coaches the children on top of his main job of maintaining and caretaking at the school.

The team won all five of their matches against four other local schools in their cluster at the recent competition, securing them a place in the final in the coming weeks.

The final will see them take on champions from other clusters in the York area with the hope of becoming the overall winners.

Martin, who has worked at the school for 10 years and has coached the tag rugby team since 2008, also runs the school’s gardening club.

He said: “It’s great for the kids and for the Fulford area. A lot of parents get involved too and it’s introducing rugby to children who may never have played it.

“I’m really proud of them and they won 8-1, 8-1, 5-1, 4-1 and 3-2.

“It makes a difference to the kids and I’ve got two who have gone on to play for Yorkshire Carnegie in rugby union and two who have won rugby scholarships at Queen Ethelburga’s School.”

The cluster includes St Oswald’s, as well as Fishergate Primary School, and Naburn, Wheldrake with Thorganby, and Elvington Church of England Primary Schools.

Year six pupil Will McCardle, 11, is now captain of the St Oswald’s tag rugby team after playing since year one.

He said: “We train every week and I think we’ll be doing it twice a week soon.

“It was great to come first and being in the team is really good. It’s good for people to try rugby and it’s fun to play in a team with my school mates.”