West Wittering beach becomes a rugby pitch for the day

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West Wittering beach was the venue for the annual under-19 mixed beach rugby tournament for the fourth year in succession during National School Sport Week.

The event is supported by British Colleges Sport, leading to teams taking part from as far afield as Birmingham and Norfolk.

At times there were dark clouds overhead, but the rain stayed away. All matches were played in a great spirit and the students displayed a superb attitude. Referees were RFU community rugby coaches from Surrey and Sussex, as well as RFU volunteers.

After some tight matches involving a total of 15 teams, the final was between past winners Chichester College and Birmingham Met College, attending the tournament for the first time – and two last-minute tries from Birmingham saw them ran out 6-5 winners.

The head of Chichester Rugby Academy, Mark Bonar, can’t wait to try the tournament again: “We’re already looking forward to next year where more teams are already looking to apply as word gets out about this fabulous end of year event. We were all impressed by the sportsmanship and positive attitude shown.”

The event marked the continued success of the RFU’s Choose Rugby campaign, with more than 150 students playing.

Thanks went to David Piper (West Wittering Beach Estate), Mark Bonar (Chichester College), Jamie Fellows (Chichester District Council) and Kate Smith (PE Sport Strategy Manger) for helping to organise and run the day.