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Young people in west London compete in inter-borough rugby festival

England women's rugby legend Maggie Alphonsi supports Heathrow Festival of Rugby

An inter-borough rugby festival for young people overseen by England women's team legend Maggie Alphonsi MBE saw Richmond crowned champions.

Rugby teams from Brent, Ealing, Richmond and Hounslow competed for the trophy at the Heathrow-sponsored Festival of Rugby, organised by Hounslow Council, at Grasshoppers RFC on Thursday (October 1).

Year 8 teams of girls and boys were pitted against each other at the contact rugby event, supported by the Rugby Football Union, which saw Richmond win both contests.

Jacqui Bashford, who coached the winning Richmond girls’ team, said: "The girls play rugby at school but it was really inspiring for them to play against students from other boroughs while the World Cup is on."

This was followed by a win for Hounslow in the mixed adults six-a-side tag rugby tournament.

Rugby World Cup 2015 ambassador Maggie the Machine whose playing style earned her the nickname, said: "We've been working really hard to encourage young people to take up and enjoy rugby so it’s great to see the work that local councils like Hounslow are doing to build a rugby legacy in connection with Rugby World Cup 2015.”

Prizes were presented by the rugby star, leader of Hounslow Council Steve Curran, and Heathrow Airport CEO John Holland-Kaye.

Mr Curran said: "We’ve set ourselves the target of making Hounslow the most active borough in London over the next seven years and events like the Heathrow Festival of Rugby will help young people to see how enjoyable sport can be.

"We hope to make this an annual competition and a lasting legacy of the World Cup.”

Mr Holland-Kaye added: “We’re delighted that we’re able to sponsor this great event for London’s next generation of rugby players in Heathrow’s backyard.

"Hounslow is part of our community and where many Heathrow colleagues live. We’ll continue to provide opportunities for young Londoners to fulfil their potential."

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