Rugby's Rhinos tackle primary arena;Sport

30th April 1999 at 01:00
The children of Adel primary school in Leeds were in a feisty mood this week, writes Elaine Williams.

Far from being overawed by the spectacularly brawny presence of the Leeds Rhinos in their school, they welcomed these first-class rugby league players with a spirit that only children can muster.

After being shown a promotional video of Iestyn Harris, the Rhinos' star player and rugby league's answer to Michael Owen, storming through a series of tries, Year 4s were given a quiz and asked how many times Harris passed the ball during the film. "He didn't pass it at all," came one answer, "he hogged it all the time!" Nor did the team's mascot endear itself to all. The sight of a man-size Rhino was too much for some four-year-olds who had to be taken out of their classroom sobbing in terror.

The Rhinos honoured their commitment to visit the primary school, dedicating their first team to an afternoon of coaching and classroom teaching, despite their place in the Challenge Cup final against the London Broncos at Wembley tomorrow.

The enthusiasm with which children, girls as much as boys, tackle the coaching makes it worthwhile, say the players.

The Leeds rugby league club has built up an impressive community programme over the past five years, sending teams of their apprentices for training sessions into primary schools and running summer schools. "It's a great thing to do," said Iestyn Harris. "It's a good way of winding down after a game."

Alan Padden, Adel's head, is unequivocal about the benefits. He said: "The Rhinos bring to our children skills and expertise that we don't possess. They bring with them a code of competitiveness and fair play. Rugby league is structured, it is a great discipline and children gain from that."

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now