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Home > News > Cueto helps celebrate one millionth player in scheme
Your News Cueto helps celebrate one millionth player in scheme

ENGLAND wing Mark Cueto took time out of his preparations for England's forthcoming RBS Six Nations campaign and Sale Sharks' final Heineken Cup group match against Clermont Auvergne on Saturday to help Coventry's Allesley Primary School celebrate producing the one millionth player to be involved in the RFU YAZOO Tag Rugby programme.

The programme has been running for just two years but 10,000 primary schools across England have already been involved in the RFU YAZOO Tag Rugby initiative and the landmark was achieved at Allesley Primary today.

Cueto, who became an RFU YAZOO Tag Rugby Programme ambassador in 2007 was at Allesley today along with England women's international flanker Sarah Hunter of Lichfield, who has recently been appointed to a similar role. More than 40 per cent of the youngsters who have been involved in the programme are girls.

"To have the millionth participant in Tag Rugby in just two years is a massive achievement," Cueto said.

"Football has tended to be the predominant sport in this country but I have seen rugby grow significantly in the ten years that I have been involved and this initiative contributes to that.

"We have got more children involved and it's a great way to teach them the basics of rugby without the contact element. They are getting all the good elements and if, at the age of nine or ten, they want to move on to the contact element, they can do that.

"It's nice to see the kids enjoying themselves and to listen to the different questions they ask me."

Cueto and Hunter spent time chatting to children in their classrooms at Allesley Primary and also joined in the Tag session in the afternoon.

John Lee, the managing director of YAZOO, the UK's favourite flavoured milk drink, presented Matt Potts, the new head teacher of Allesley Primary School, with a cheque for 5,000 to recognise the one millionth player landmark.

Some of the money will be spent of sending youngsters from the school to Twickenham where they hope to watch either Cueto or Hunter in action with England.

"I feel passionate about this ambassadorial role," Hunter said. "When I have been at training camps we have had England captains and senior players talking to us about their experiences.

"This is my opportunity to give something back and to make it easier for youngsters, not just girls, to play rugby and achieve their goals.

"It's an opportunity to get across to youngsters that Tag rugby is fun and enjoyable. I played tag rugby at school and we also use it in training nowadays because it's good for the basics of rugby - passing, catching and running - for any age and any ability."

Tag rugby is a non-contact version of the sport which has proved a popular way of introducing new players to rugby.

Tag rugby evolved from touch rugby. Each player wears a belt that has two Velcro tags attached to it. The defenders have to pull one of the tags to force the ball-carrying attacking player to pass. Each side has six 'tags' in which to score a try.

Every pupil at Allesley Primary took part in sessions today coached by members of Henley College in Coventry some of whom are studying for an NVQ in activity leadership.

The Allesley Primary pupils were also able to demonstrate their rugby skills in the inflatable rugby games area provided by the RFU.

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