Okapi U-16 pose under the field goal with the FRFC U-16 and U-12 teams on the right.
#WITH the 8th Annual International Junior Rugby Festival approaching, the talented youth from Freeport Rugby Football Club (FRFC) travelled to Florida to gain some much-needed experience against quality competition in the inaugural Weston Rugby Challenge Cup.
#Hosted by Okapi Wanderers Rugby Football Club, the one-day tournament was a tremendous opportunity for Freeport’s Under-12, U-14 and U-16 teams to showcase their skills and build chemistry just weeks before the festival.
#“We really appreciated Okapi hosting this event for not only our players but all the participants,” said Stephen Sheehan, FRFC’s youth development officer.
#“It was rewarding to watch our kids capitalise on months of hard work and play in front of family and friends who made the trip,” he said.
#The Florida trip was the culmination of months of hard work and dedication from players, coaches and parents. The U-16 team put in extra work in the weeks leading up to the trip, including training with the senior team on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
#“The games showed me how dedicated you have to be to play rugby,” said Edward Walkin, who attends Jack Hayward High. “We as a team have to work together on improving our skills and try harder in practice and our future games.”
#For many of the youth rugby players, the trip represented the first chance to ever travel to the US.
#Beyond competing on the field, the players also built off-field chemistry that is invaluable in building the club culture. “The trip was, in its own way, a learning experience altogether,” said U-16 player Quinton Sands. “I learned what it is like to spend time with teammates and I gained some new friends.”
#Freeport’s youth teams, which included several standout female players, showed tremendous heart against Key Biscayne, Wellington and Okapi.
#Jake Edey and Andrew Lane stood out with brilliant tries for the U-12 team. Titus Lockhart and Michael Sanchez displayed their brute force and power in a highly entertaining U-16 match against Okapi.
#Though the trip ended without any hardware, the diligent work, fundraising, organising and training resulted in a resoundingly successful trip for Freeport RFC.