Portadown Panthers player on the attack against Newforge Taggers

Portadown Panthers player on the attack against Newforge Taggers

On Saturday, Ravenhill played host to Ireland’s biggest ever display of tag rugby for people with learning disabilities as over 400 players attended the 8th annual Wooden Spoon International Tag Rugby Festival.

Despite the poor weather for most of the day, 26 schools and clubs from around the UK and Ireland played at the revamped stadium, including 13 teams from Ulster – enjoyed the occasion.

The local teams were:

Ballymena Bears

Cedar Lodge (Belfast)

Clare Hares (Ballyclare)

Coleraine Chargers

Errigle Eagles (Letterkenny)

Glenveagh School (Belfast)

Harberton Seahorses (Belfast)

Killard Cougars (Donaghadee)

Newforge Taggers (Belfast)

Now Project (Belfast)

Portadown Panthers

Seaside Sharkies (Donaghadee)

Stevenson Sharks (Dungannon)

Spectators were entertained throughout the day with live music and dancing, face painters and circus acts.

The 6 Nations trophy, won by Ireland in March, was at Ravenhill all day, allowing fans to pose for photos with the historic piece of silverware.

The festival represented another significant investment from children’s charity Wooden Spoon, which has contributed over £600,000 to projects that have benefited disadvantaged or disabled children in Ulster.  

Wooden Spoon is one of the largest funders of respite and medical treatment centres, sensory enhancement therapeutic facilities, specialist playgrounds, sports activity areas, and community-based programmes in the UK.

So far they have granted over £20 million to these fantastic projects. Inspired by their rugby heritage, their values of passion, integrity, teamwork, and fun have so far helped over 1 million young people and children in need.

Wooden Spoon Ambassador Willie John Mcbride is pictured at the 8th annual Wooden Spoon International Tag Rugby Festival

Wooden Spoon Ambassador Willie John McBride is pictured at the 8th annual Wooden Spoon International Tag Rugby Festival at Ravenhill

The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL), Belfast City Council and a number of local businesses also gave their backing to the event.

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