FLEET-FOOTED young rugby stars in Ivybridge are back stronger than ever after COVID restrictions, having bagged a high-profile sponsor.
The plucky players of Ivybridge Rugby Club U15s have been backed by the Specsavers Plymstock store after lockdown brought their season to a halt.
A new kit for the players has been paid for by the store and has the Specsavers logo on the shirts.
Kirsty Irving, Store Manager at Specsavers Plymstock, says she feels it’s important to help grassroots sports for young people, especially after the pandemic limited so many group opportunities for them.
She adds: ‘My son, Thom, plays for Ivybridge Rugby Club U15s and I know how much he and his teammates missed being able to play during lockdown. Sport enables young people to stay fit, get fresh air, and it promotes teamwork and understanding.
‘There are also clear links between sport and good mental health for young people. The pandemic has been hard on everyone for various reasons, including the young, so it’s really important that they’re able to get out on the pitch again.
‘The under-15s are a great group and we at the store are glad to help them. They really enjoy themselves when they’re training and playing, and there’s some real talent among them.’
The number of children and young people exercising in England dropped significantly during the pandemic, with many activities being unavailable.
With restrictions easing recently, Ivybridge Rugby Club U15s were keen to get started again by playing friendlies against other teams in the county. They recently ran out 47-12 winners over Paignton.
Rob Irving, who manages the team with Jodie Wild, says: ‘It’s great for the lads to be back playing again, and we’re really grateful for the help from Specsavers Plymstock. It’s important for our players to know that they’re supported in what they do. I know that a lot of young people’s sports struggle because they have very little money, so backing from a company like Specsavers really does help us.’
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