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Stirling County Mini Tour 2017

Stirling County Minis Rugby England Tour 2017

York was well and truly sacked

Each year Stirling County Mini's tour Ireland, Wales or England. This is unique to Stirling County, and sets us apart from other Minis Rugby clubs. This years' tour was to York in North England, with 83 tourists and 35 coaches - our biggest [and best] tour ever!

Anyone involved in tour will know that for the tourists, it is a massive event, the highlight of the Minis season, and hugely anticipated. The fear of the unknown must be a major worry: many tourists will not have been away from home on their own for this length of time, the rules of age grade rugby are hugely different, they don't know where they will sleep [or if they will get any sleep at all], and they don't know what food will be like.

In this kind of environment, tourists grow up very quickly and take responsibility for themselves. For many this is a new concept; but what we see is an amazing ability to organise their own kit, get themselves up and dressed, brush their teeth and get ready for bed.

They all have highs and lows, but the friends around them help them through - one group described themselves as mother, father and brother to one of the tourists who was feeling slightly low one night before bed. On this, deep friendships are made; this is how true team spirit is developed. We saw this taken to the pitch, where they won, lost or drew as a team; supporting each other in everything they did.

One thing that sets our tour apart from others is that several of the tourists 'pipe' the players onto the field for the Tournament; we all feel a lump in our throat, a small tear in the eye, as our chests puff up and our heads are held just that little bit higher; here is a great quote from a couple of years back when we toured in Wales "I am a Scottish parent of two Nant Conwy Juniors in North Wales Please pass on my congratulations to you recent Junior tour to Wales. To see you march into the tournament singing Flower of Scotland and headed by their own pipers was amazing."

Tour is always a massive turning point for many of the players, and the 200% improvement we saw in all the tourists hasn't stopped for the rest of the season. The quality of the rugby was superb, despite very little sleep, and against some much bigger [6 months older] players. We were all were very proud of our players on tour. They looked after each other, worked as a team, won & lost together, and most importantly, had fun together.

As we know #itsallaboutthekids, and the kids did us very proud. Their conduct both on and off the pitch was nothing short of exemplary at all times, and was commented on by everyone we visited. Praise must go to the players themselves; they can be very proud of the way they conducted themselves whilst on Tour; they were a credit to the sport, Stirling County RFC and of course yourselves.

And lastly, Tour wouldn't happen without our Tour Sponsors and everyone who attends our fundraising events and kindly supports us. We are immensely grateful and we would like to say thanks once again.

For more information on our sponsors, please click the links below:

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The annual Rugby Tour for Stirling County Minis Rugby Football Club is the highlight of the Mini season and preparation for next year's trip to Belfast in April is well underway.

They plan to take around 80-90 children (boys & girls) from Primary 5, 6 and 7 age groups to play 'international friendlies' against local opposition in the Belfast area.

Taking part in a rugby tour is an experience the 'Tourists' never forget - with teamwork, respect and maintaining the spirit of the game as important, if not more so, than the results themselves. Many a lifelong friendship has been forged on a rugby tour.

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