It was the sunny day that we’d been hoping for on Thursday 15th June 2017.  Ideal for our annual Solas Project Tag Rugby Blitz 2017!  Co-ordinating 12 schools, 423 children, 84 corporate mentors, 8 refs. 15 pitch coordinators and 4 face painters is no joke - so a huge well done to Ste for being the chief organiser for this event!

Preparations started early for staff and volunteers and soon the schools started pouring in on buses to UCD sports grounds from the city centre.

Getting the Solas Project banner up; ‘Supporting and equipping young people’.

Getting the Solas Project banner up; ‘Supporting and equipping young people’.

Firstly, there were warm ups and team talks with business mentors, before the matches got under way. 

Warm ups with Ebay volunteers.

Warm ups with Ebay volunteers.

Practicing passing skills.

Practicing passing skills.

Volunteer from Savills getting their team warmed up.

Volunteer from Savills getting their team warmed up.

Once the matches had begun, there was great support from on and off the side-lines!  We found that face paint really helped promote team morale!

Volunteer with the Marist Primary School students

Volunteer with the Marist Primary School students

Catapult supporter cheering from the side-lines!

Catapult supporter cheering from the side-lines!

 

The Tag Rugby Blitz is the culmination of our Solas Sports programme which we run in 12 primary schools over the year.  Solas Sports is one of the components to our Solas@School initiatives, which also includes Solas Business and Solas College.  Each of these programmes, aims to promote self-worth, foster motivation and build character. 

 

The game in mid-flow!

The game in mid-flow!

 

Tag rugby is usually a new skill for most of the classes, and as such really lends itself to teaching cooperation and team-work!  During the five week programme in schools, where a Solas Project staff member and our business volunteers discuss with the class themes such as, ‘Words have power’, ‘Courage build character’, ‘Choices Have Consequences’, and then seek to put these words into action on the pitch and in life. 

 

Scoil Treasa Naofa playing Scoil Íosagáin.

Scoil Treasa Naofa playing Scoil Íosagáin.

Courage builds character!

Courage builds character!

‘I really liked that it wasn’t just about the sports for me.  I learned to think before I speak or do and I love the idea that choices have consequences because I play basketball and other sports and I use all that [learning].  The consequence was I got ‘Most Valuable Player’ in basketball.,’ quote from a 5th class student talking about their experience of Solas Sports.

‘I really liked Solas Sports because it really helped me with my anger,’ commented a 6th class student in a review of Solas@School.

TEAM = Together Everyone Achieves More

TEAM = Together Everyone Achieves More

The Blitz serves as a great opportunity to see business mentors again and celebrate the year’s work and growth!

Long term Solas Project supporters Mainstream Renewable Energy with their team

Long term Solas Project supporters Mainstream Renewable Energy with their team

The Team from Scoil Íosagáin and Catapult Events

The Team from Scoil Íosagáin and Catapult Events

The fabulous day ended with the corporate mentors taking to the pitch, while the children took a turn at supporting and encouraging!

Byrne Wallace and others play Bank of American Merrill Lynch.

Byrne Wallace and others play Bank of American Merrill Lynch.

 

And of course a group photo…

Solas Project Tag Rugby Blitz 2017

Solas Project Tag Rugby Blitz 2017

This day is so important to us and does not come together easily, we would really like to give a huge thank you to all who supported us, Joe Carthy and the team at UCD, our photographer Jaclyn Visbeen,  Leinster Rugby for providing flags for each team, all the refs who gave up their time, past Solas Project staff members Andrew and Tim, to name but a few. Thanks to all our teacher, business mentors, volunteers and the children!  We look forward to seeing you next year for another great day out!

If your business is interested in partnering with us for next year, please contact Clodagh@solasproject.ie

Ready for the next challenge: Take part in our Triathlon on September 2nd