RUGBY games, training on the beach and sea kayaking were just some of the things enjoyed by Saddleworth Rangers U15s on their trip to the south of France.
A group of 20 players and some parents headed to Argelès-sur-Mer near Perpignan for what has become an annual trip away for this age group at the Greenfield-based rugby club.
It was the culmination of a year of fundraising by the team to cover the cost of the tour, which included games against strong local sides in Salses de Chateau and the Catalan Dragons Youth Squad.
Kevin Fitzpatrick, one of the team coaches, said: “It’s been a brilliant experience for the boys as we trained on the beach and did loads of activities including sea kayaking and white-water rafting.
“The boys stood up to be counted against two really tough French sides and they’ll be a lot stronger for taking on that challenge.
“Afterwards they all swapped shirts so our training sessions will definitely have a French flavour for a while I think.”
To raise the money for the tour the players worked as ball boys and waiters at a sportsman’s dinner and also took on a 12-mile hiking challenge. Their families put on barbecues and organised fundraising events at the club.
The team was treated to a new playing kit and leisurewear for the tour and would like to thank all the local companies who helped make that possible with sponsorship.
Former Rangers youngster and current Warrington Wolves star, Tom Whitehead, presented the boys with their kit.
Special thanks go to: T&S Metals – Terry Hester; Steven Caine Hairdressers – Steve and Jason; Bedspace – Chris Waring; Calls UK – Ben Middlebrook; Tennant Podiatry – Paul Tennant; Pots and Pans Cottage – Cliff Lonsdale; J.Baron Plumbing and Heating – James Baron; James Scott Accountants – Matthew and Brendan; JHL Digital – Bobby Johnson
Butchers Block – Liam Swift; A.G.C. Fire Protection – Chris Garforth.
The baton is now handed onto the U14s who are fundraising for their tour to Jamaica next May.