Two King’s School boys marked finishing their GCSE exams in the summer by embarking on a rugby adventure in India.
They were joined by one boy from Tuxford Academy whose father, Nick Scott, is coach development manager for the RFU, and organised the trip. All three boys play for Newark Rugby Club.
While India is not renowned for its rugby prowess, the sport is played with passion and enthusiasm in clubs and schools across the country. The players went to Delhi to support the School Sports programme which is emerging there, led by former RFU council member Alex Murphy.
Before going, they underwent a Rugby Ready coaching and safety course so that when they were in Delhi they could inspire Indian youngsters to play for the rugby club hosting them, Delhi Hurricanes.
While in Delhi, they coached in Government schools for children living on the streets, as well as organising a rugby festival for boys and girls.
They donated much needed kit provided by King’s School, as well as other sports kit kindly donated by Ian Marsh of Grantham Clothing.
After Delhi, they moved on to Kolkata and played for Delhi Hurricanes in the All India and South Asia Finals – a week long tournament. They helped the Hurricanes reach their first final, beating holders Bombay Gymkhana in the semi-final, and only lost to the Indian Army.
“It was certainly challenging,” said Josh Hubbard who scored the winning try in the semi-final. “It was monsoon season, so the pitch was like a mudbath – but the temperature was in the high 30s, so the mud was hot – and so were we!”
Kolkata gave them more opportunities to help local children experience rugby, as they visited two educational foundations which work with street orphans. The foundations give a fortunate few from the lowest rungs of society a good education using rugby as the learning vehicle.
Future Hope and Jungle Crows, the two foundations, are supported financially by the rugby family in the UK and, through the sport, are genuinely changing lives. The boys helped in English lessons, and visited the site of a proposed new site for Future Hope.
Callum said “To see the way in which these children make the best of everything – their optimism, their hunger for education, is really uplifting. ”
All three boys are already planning to return to India for another rugby trip.
Pictured above are, from left – Callum Slack and Josh Hubbard from King’s School, and Alex Scott from Tuxford Academy.