Philippines – A number of grassroots age-grade teams from the main islands of Luzon and Visayas had a fun-filled Saturday on 17th of September at the 2022 Globe 7s Series - Colts and Juniors Festival, as well as the Grassroots to Global (G2G) Festival.
The Visayas Festival was held at the Cebu City Sports Complex and involved both Touch Rugby and Tackle games played by the different teams participating. A Cebu-based South African referee, Damon Freeman, helped out officiating in the games. According to one of the festival organizers Madille Salinas, having Freeman officiating the games gave motivation to the players – “naganahan ang mga players na naglaro kasi para kasi kami[ng] nasa [isang] big event”.
MVP awards were given to each player category for both the Touch Rugby and the Tackle games. Jacob Padila from SOS Kids U12, Richie Dandan from the U15 SOS Talamban team, and Luije Amarado from the SOS South Wing U19 category were all awarded the MVP awards for the Touch Rugby games. For the Tackle Games, Luije Amarado won another MVP award for the Cebu North U19 team. Josue Ocat of Cebu South and Virtue Nyeche of Cebu North bagged the MVP awards for the men’s and women’s divisions, respectively. The G2G team also joined this fun day as they held a Touch Rugby festival in the morning. Virtue Nyeche, who also played tackle in the afternoon, was named MVP for the G2G Women’s Touch Rugby Festival.
In Luzon, the games were held at Philippine Rugby’s official home venue, the Ayala Vermosa Sports Hub, and involved Touch Rugby games for the U11 and U13s, U17s, and the Grassroots to Global (G2G) girls. The Colts players also enjoyed full contact Rugby games, wherein the Bulacan Bombers won the finals match against the Albay Bulkans with a score of 24 - 19. All the juniors players who enjoyed the festival were also invited to participate in fun games in between matches, where Rugby values even at their young age are already evident. During the fun games, players showed great teamwork despite being grouped with kids they do not know. Sportsmanship award was given to Harvey Morris of La Liga u13s team for his exemplary attitude and behavior on and off the field. Bulacan Bombers Colts player, John Leo Villasoto Heba, was awarded the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for his division. A great Saturday event indeed for Luzon.
The Rugby community is steadily growing, and we look forward to more youth games and G2G festivals in Visayas (Negros) and Mindanao (Koronadal) during this last quarter of 2022. While we await to see the kids play again soon, let’s come and support women’s and men’s teams from Luzon as they participate in the 2nd leg of the 2022 Globe 7s Series this Saturday, September 24, at the Ayala Vermosa Sports Hub in Cavite. #SaturdayIsRugbyDay!
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