YOUNGSTERS at a Coventry primary school are preparing to fly the flag at this weekend’s Wasps game at the Ricoh Arena.
A group of 20 lucky pupils from St Bartholomew’s Church of England Academy in Bredon Avenue have been chosen as the Guard of Honour flag-bearers for Wasps’ Aviva Premiership match against Exeter Chiefs.
The school was selected as part of the Coventry-based rugby team’s initiative to reward local rugby fans with the opportunity to get closer than ever to on-pitch action.
As well as getting to step onto the Ricoh pitch with their sporting heroes, each flag-bearer will get the opportunity to watch the match for free – a prospect St Bartholomew’s PE Teacher Ben Terry said the youngsters are very excited about.
He added: “Rugby is a sport we have really been trying to develop at St Bartholomew’s.
“The game is challenging and children really seem to engage with it which helps them learn important life skills such as teamwork and discipline.
“With Wasps having made Coventry their home, we thought it was a great opportunity for the school to get involved with the team.”
Explaining why the school seized the opportunity to become flag-bearers, Mr Terry explained that the area in which the school is based meant sport and opportunities such as this aren’t often presented to pupils.
He added: “Seeing a Premiership team play a professional game will be a really exciting experience for all of them.”
Last year, Wasps ambassador Paul Sackey visited the school to coach a rugby tag session and we are also hosting another one in January with members of the Wasps team.
Wasps made Coventry its new home in 2014 after buying the Ricoh Arena and since moving, the club has trebled its average attendances with the highlight being last season’s 32,000 sell-out against new neighbours Leicester Tigers.
Last month’s European Champions Cup win over Toulon also attracted a crowd of over 20,000.
Martin Fallon, marketing manager of Wasps, said that recognising and rewarding its supporters in the community was key to the club.
“St Bartholomew’s has been a great supporter of Wasps and Our Community team is really looking forward to working with them in January as part of their drive to help pupils develop their rugby skills” he said.
“We are delighted to help them get closer to the action by nominating them as Wasps’ Guard of Honour at the match versus Exeter Chiefs.”
Tickets are still available for this weekend’s game with prices starting from £15.
Echo & the Bunnymen and Buzzcocks will also performing after the match as part of the first in the Offload Series in the Jaguar Hall at the Ricoh Arena.
Combined tickets for the game and the live music are priced at £25 and are available from www.ricoharena.com