Representatives of Barbezieux Rugby Club returned to the South West of France last Friday, following a hugely successful trip to Londonderry during the Easter holidays.
As part of the French club’s biannual tour, over 60 parents, coaches and school children visited City of Derry Rugby Football Club for a third time and stayed in the homes of City of Derry members as part of the popular rugby exchange programme.
The touring party enjoyed a week of rugby training and games, including a Touch Rugby competition last Tuesday evening at Judges Road as well as experiencing the heritage and culture of the city throughout their stay.
Indeed a comprehensive itinerary included visits to Glenveigh National Park, a tour of the City Walls and trips to the Giants Causeway and Walled City Brewery for a gala dinner on Wednesday evening.
The club then enjoyed a Civic reception at the Guildhall last Thursday night, before they travelled back to the Cognac, a region of France, from Dublin early last Friday morning.
This French Exchange Programme has been an outstanding success over the last six years.
It has become an extraordinary educational experience for children and adults on and off the pitch as they embrace difference in culture and language.
The Mini Rugby Section at City of Derry Rugby have been the motivation behind the programme led by Scott Pollock and Alison Milligan.
“It’s proved to be a massive success,” said a club spokesperson.
“The children were hosted by parents involved with City of Derry’s Mini Rugby and it was a great education for everyone.
“We’ve been to France on two occasions and plan to go back next Easter.
“It’s been six years since Barbezieux were first here and obviously those children have since moved on but it’s great to see new parents and new children continue the fantastic relationship between the clubs.”
Meanwhile the club’s annual Players Awards Night which was due to take place at the Clubhouse at Judges Road, this Friday has been cancelled to a later date.
However the Mini rugby will host Letterkenny on Friday night at Judges Road and tickets for the Spring Ball, which takes place on Saturday April 23rd are now avaiable.