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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Touching day at Twickenham

RUGBY UNION: THE rise in popularity of Touch Rugby over the last five to ten years has been reflected at Tynedale, with year-on-year growth of the sport.

Unlike all other forms of the game, ‘Touch’ can be played by old and young, male and female and as such, it’s the most sociable and the most inclusive of games.

Every Monday during the summer months you’ll find a range of ages, abilities, and experiences ‘rocking up’ to throw a ball around at Tynedale Park. On Thursday evenings sessions are specifically targeted for Tynedale’s ‘Rugby Mums’ who started up three seasons with ‘mums’ who hardly knew how to throw a ball but who now talk tactics and hold their own against younger and more experienced opponents.

As a club Tynedale have been proactive in taking ‘touch’ into the community whilst also using the game to help bring the club together by encouraging players from all aspects of the club to meet and mix at training sessions and festivals. Indeed, such achievements have not gone unnoticed and O2 – sponsors of the RFU – awarded Tynedale Touch with an invitation to visit rugby HQ at Twickenham.

Tynedale with given red carpet treatment with breakfast in the President’s Suite and full access to the England changing room, gym and perhaps most impressive of all, the chance to play on the hallowed Twickenham turf.

If that wasn’t enough, England winger Johnny May joined the party and at the conclusion of the rugby all participants were treated to dinner and drinks in the Members’ Lounge with Johnny answering questions and handing out ‘stash’ to all who attended.

In keeping with the inclusive nature of ‘touch’, Tynedale’s team was specifically selected from a wide variety of the club’s teams; Carol Orrick and Gaynor Bell (Rugby Mums), Ben Blackburn (Colts), Andrew Burns (Veterans), Martyn Hutton (Centurions), Rory and Jamie Dixon (Raiders), Stan Blackburn (Veterans and upcoming chairman of the junior section).

Even 57 year-old Peter Dixon – father of Jamie and Rory – pulled his boots on and joined his sons on the turf.

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