The school, which has recently made significant investments to improve its offering of free afterschool clubs for pupils, took on the roles as player mascots for the match, standing alongside their rugby heroes before the start of the game.
They were also joined by 20 youth players from the under 12’s team of Bugbrooke Rugby Club, based on Camp Close, who enjoyed a unique experience when they paraded the pitch as official flagbearers to kick off the exciting game. Bugbrooke RUFC is one of the leading clubs in Northampton and is running junior teams from the age of three up to under 18s.
The event, known as a ‘Gallagher Game Day’, is one of 12 events Gallagher is hosting across the season and forms part of our investment to bolster strong relationships with the community, including local schools and grass roots rugby clubs, while championing local heroes in the wider rugby community who work so hard to protect and grow the game.
Malcom Arnold Preparatory School is a state-funded primary school which opened in September 2014 and encourages pupils to aim high and achieve their personal best through both curricular and co-curricular activities. In the last term alone, over 600 pupils took part in clubs after school, from sports teams, to the performing arts, languages and homework clubs. In particular, the schools rugby team has seen a recent uptake of pupils and is currently being coached by former Saints player, Jon Clarke, who played over 100 times for the Northampton club.
Simon Northcott, Headteacher at Malcom Arnold Preparatory School, said: “Our school takes pride in actively encouraging pupils to get involved in all extra-curricular clubs, including sports clubs. Rugby in particular is a great game that teaches our pupils to act with valuable key qualities such as discipline and respect. Attending the Gallagher Game Day event was a huge motivator for pupils at Malcolm Arnold and has introduced them to a whole new world. They had a fantastic time joining their rugby heroes on the pitch and soaking up the atmosphere, so we couldn’t be more grateful to Gallagher for the opportunity.”
Spencer Kilby, from the Bugbrooke Rugby Club coaching team, added: “I think it’s great that Gallagher is extending its involvement in rugby even further by engaging with local clubs such as ourselves. It’s brilliant that my team were able to get together on the pitch at Franklin’s Gardens, as it gave them the opportunity to create long-lasting memories of witnessing some of their favourite professional rugby players in action, but it also gave them a taste of what hard work and commitment can eventually lead to.”
Adam Peel, Director at Gallagher Benefit Services, added: “The Gallagher Game Day at Franklin’s Gardens was certainly one to be remembered – especially for the children involved. Not only are these events a great way to bring our rugby partnership to life, but it gives us an opportunity to engage with local communities in the Midlands and gift them with life-long memories.
“We’re delighted to be working closely with a local school and youth rugby team that are both committed to opening pupils up to new opportunities, particularly in the sport that aligns with the Gallagher Game Day. As a business, we are committed to working with communities and organisations to help them to grow and thrive, and inviting them to enjoy this wonderful experience with us is just one way that we can help.”