News & EventsLatest NewsCalendar
P7s get ready for Italy!

P7s get ready for Italy!

Roger Corbett24 May - 11:00
Share via

All the best to our P7 Minis as they prepare for their tour to Italy

Bangor RFC’s P7 Mini-Rugby team - the ‘Lions’ - are about to jet off to Imperia in Italy to take part in the 10th Pino Valle di Imperia Tournament, where they will take on teams from all over Italy, including Fiamme Oro (Rome), A.S.D. Moncalieri (Turin), Imperia Rugby (Imperia), Vespe Cogoleto (Genoa), ASD Rugby (Rome), Biella Rugby (near Milan), and Superba Rugby (Genoa).

The trip will see the Bangor Lions look to build upon an incredibly successful season which saw them go undefeated at both the Ballyclare and Ballymena Blitzes as well as defeating the visiting Scottish team Cumnock RFC.

Bangor will be the only team from outside of Italy taking part and they will take their responsibility of representing Bangor very seriously and look to bring to an end their mini-rugby careers in style, before they all head off to secondary school.

In addition to the tournament, the Bangor Lions will also take on Imperia Rugby, the mini rugby section for Union Riviera Rugby, in the second annual Columbanus Cup which was established last year by both Bangor and Imperia Minis as part of the Columbanus Project. Bangor’s Lions will be looking to bring the trophy back to Bangor for the first time.

Coaches Jamie Foulkes, Dave Charman, John Armstrong, Daren Byers and Tim Bryans will travel with the team along with a large group of parents, and everyone is extremely excited at the opportunity to see their group of players represent Bangor, Ulster and Ireland at this international tournament in Italy. Coach Tim Bryans said “This is a very special group of young men who we have had the privilege of coaching over the last number of years. We have seen them grow as players and as a team and we cannot wait to see them tested on the international stage.” Bangor’s mini rugby section is one of largest in Ulster with hundreds of children taking part every Sunday during the rugby season, from P1 to P7.

Tim speaks for all the coaches by saying “What a fitting way to end this part of their rugby careers, before they embark on the next stage at secondary school. We’ve been with some of these boys since P1 and we are delighted that we have been able to give them an opportunity like this to repay all of the hard work and effort that they have shown us over the last few years”. The coaches greatly appreciate all of the hard work of the parents who have helped raise the funds for the tour and made it possible for the Lions to gain this fantastic experience. Tim adds “We couldn’t have done this without the incredible support and help of the parents so a huge thank you to them for their help with tuck shops, BBQs and quizzes and for giving us the opportunity to coach their kids. And a final thank you must go to our sponsors whose donations have been invaluable to help us reach our goal of getting the squad over to Italy. So thanks to Mortgage IQ, Lisney, Perdix Consulting, Medical & General Financial Solutions, Glasswall, ALT Animation and Action Renewables”.

The touring party held their official shirt presentation at Upritchard Park on Tuesday 21st May and a very special guest was on hand to present the players with their tour kit. Aaron Sexton, the former Bangor Mini-Rugby player and now a professional rugby player for Ulster and the Ireland 7s team, kindly agreed to come down and take part in the presentation and offer support to the players.

The touring party of 21 players, 5 coaches and 18 parents will fly from Dublin to Nice on Friday 31st May and then transfer to Imperia in the Italian region of Liguria where the tournament is being hosted. They will play a series of group games on Saturday 1st June with the Columbanus Cup scheduled to take place on the same day. The touring party will be treated to some Italian hospitality for 3 nights before they return on Monday 3rd June with a head full of memories and hopefully some silverware to go with it!

If anyone is looking to support the Lions on their tour, and give themselves a chance of a great prize, ballot tickets are still available for the P7s ‘Great Pottery Scrum Down’. Local pottery sensation Donna Bloye of OTO Pottery Studio, who was recently crowned champion of Channel 4’s ‘Great Pottery Throw Down’ has kindly donated an exclusive prize to help raise funds for the tour. Tickets are still on sale at the following link - The draw will be made by the team at the airport on the 31st May just before they depart for Italy and their trip of a lifetime.

Further reading