Hundreds of Coventry and Warwickshire’s schoolchildren rubbed shoulders with a former England rugby world cup star to mark the success of a grassroots programme.

Former Wasps player Paul Sackey, who scored two tries for England at the 2007 world cup, joined more than 200 year four pupils from 19 schools across the region at Lyng Hall School, to take part in Engage!’s tag rugby MEGA festival to mark the end of the six week Engage! Values programme.

Over the past six months, the programme has taught more than 1,360 young people from 26 primary schools life values of team work, discipline, respect, enjoyment and integrity by combining classroom activities with games of tag rugby.

Coaches from key stakeholders involved in Coventry’s City of Rugby programme – an initiative to make Coventry a world leader at every level of the sport by 2023 – such as Wasps, Coventry Bears and Coventry Rugby also supported at the MEGA festival. Tom Clift, Programme Manager at Engage!, said:

“These end of term festivals give young people the ideal opportunity to put the life values they’ve been taught into practice on the pitch in front of an audience.

“This was our biggest festival yet, and even saw schools from the Rugby area in attendance for the first time as part of our recent partnership with the World Rugby Hall of Fame, which is seeing us combining school visits to the hall of fame with tag rugby sessions.

“It was a fantastic effort by everybody who turned up on the day, and the attendance of Wasps, Coventry Bears, Coventry Rugby and the World Hall of Fame, shows that the City of Rugby partnership is also heading in the right direction.”

The Canons Primary School were the overall winners on the day, while Allesley Primary School were runners-up.

Other schools that took part in the day included Ernesford Grange Primary, Finham Primary, Henley Green Primary, John Shelton Primary, Keresley Primary, Longford Park Primary, Manor Park Primary, Pearl Hyde Primary, Potters Green Primary, Ravensdale Primary, Sacred Heart Primary, Spon Gate Primary, St John Vianney Primary, St John’s Primary, St Laurence’s Primary, Cannon Park Primary and Wellesbourne Primary.

For more information about the Engage! Values Programme and to book on for the 2017/18 academic year, visit: www.engagecoventry.com/aboutus or email tom.clift@engagecoventry.com