What a great first season for Macclesfield Under 6s.
10 months ago Andy and I sat in the Flowerpot, pint in hand, discussing what was required to start a handful of little people on their lifelong rugby journey. We had no idea that we would end up with 38 enthusiastic, resilient, tough 5 year old lads eager to start throwing a rugby ball around, while the good old English weather tried it’s best to put a stop to all the fun.
It has simply been a remarkable start: the numbers have stayed strong week in week out, never dropping below 25. Come rain or shine the lads just kept coming. The attitudes of all 38 lads to learn rugby is incredible. Their hunger to improve and develop their skills has meant that the coaches have also been pushed; ensuring that a fine balance was met between learning and having fun, which at this age is not only essential but what rugby is all about.
As we moved into the New Year, the focus in training switched towards learning Tag rugby which the lads once again soaked up like sponges. Quickly learning the basic skills of passing, supporting each other, staying onside, (one that Andy and I still struggle with) tagging and not straying into touch started to become second nature to them. However finishing every training session with a good old game of bulldog and awards for bulldog winner and player of the week was always the highlight of the session and never failed to leave a smile on everyone’s face.
For our last training session of the season, we arranged for Wilmslow to visit us and play a few games. They arrived with 12 lads so the pitches were marked out with 3 consecutive games happening at once and the Macclesfield under 6s working on a rotation basis when the games began. Scores weren’t kept and really didn’t matter: just seeing the lads play for real for the first time showed how much they had learnt in just one season and have left the coaches quietly confident going into next seasons under 7s competitive league.
Trophies were awarded to every one of the lads to acknowledge all their hard work and of course we finished with a good old game of Lads v Dads (Lads 476 tries, Dads 1) which always brings with it the odd tear and graze – and that’s just the dads. But this is rugby after all, and I’m sure it won’t be the last time it happens.
It’s has been an amazing first season which has only been made possible by all the help and support received from MRFC, the parents, the dads that give up their time to help with the coaching, and Karen Smith for all her administration work, organising, emailing. The list goes on and on.
We are already looking forward to next season and hopefully some silverware, but in the meantime enjoy the summer break and we’ll see you all next year.