Waking up at 5.40am and leaping out of bed to check the weather, is believe me - not a regular occurrence for Solas Project staff, however - when you are expecting over 250 5th & 6th class students for an outdoor event, it's mandatory!
Despite a shakey start weather-wise, Terenure Rugby Club became the centre for our annual Tag Rugby Blitz. With young people coming from 9 local schools and corporate volunteers from Google, Web Summit, Savills and Maples & Calder it was a hive of activity.
The Solas Project Tag Blitz is the final part of our Solas Sports programme. Over the course of the year, Solas Project run 6 week Solas Sports programmes for 5th & 6th class students in the local area. Starting off with basic skills and fun games, we move onto introducing the tag belts (this is a great week for the kids) and we end the final 2 weeks teaching them about the dreaded "backwards pass".
Throughout the weeks, alongside sports, the young people take part in sessions on teamwork, the power of words, courage, identity, choices & commitment.
We teach the kids the value of team-mates, that we should always try and say things that build people up and not knock them down, that we are all different, but we embrace the fact we all bring different talents and abilities to our team, that choices have consequences, and that with commitment comes reward.
We never keep scores at these matches, it is all about taking part and the tag blitz was no different. The young people played 4 matches each, no winners, no losers just fun!
Our wonderful volunteers play such an important role on the day, they are someone of good character, good example, a good sportsman/woman, an encourager, a motivational player when the team is feeling down and someone who watches out for the kids that aren't getting involved and brings them in. We are so grateful to all our corporate volunteers that helped us on the day.
There was a final game between Google and WebSummit volunteers, where the pressure was on for performance, as you know we don't keep score so we can't tell you who won (ahem it was WebSummit).
A huge thank you to: All the Principals & teachers we worked with through the year, Simon Bewley, Dylan and Stuart from Irish Tag Rugby Association for reffing & providing the equipment on the day, Terenure Rugby Football Club, John Bourke & Will O'Reilly our wonderful photographer who generously volunteered his time, Sam Whelan-Curtin our videographer & Dublin Bus for transport! Takes a lot to get 250 young people together!