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Huddersfield will be celebrating a very significant anniversary because it was exactly fifty years ago when Huddersfield pioneered the development of Mini and Junior rugby at club level. Former club president Bob Lumley and former secretary Martin Noble were the key men responsible for kick starting the movement. Hitherto young players only took to the game in the club’s Academy team, the new Mini and Junior Section provided youngsters who didn’t attend rugby playing schools the opportunity to take up the game at a much earlier age. The launch was featured on BBC TV’s ‘Nationwide’ programme which showed the boys in action with reporter Bob Langley interviewing Bob Lumley about the initiative. A quirk of the TV involvement was that Basil Brush became the first Honorary President of Huddersfield’s newly formed Mini and Junior Section. In the early 1970’s lots other clubs followed Huddersfield’s lead with Otley, Morley and Harrogate being amongst the first in Yorkshire to follow suit. From humble origins back in 1969 the club Age Grade movement has grown to become a worldwide phenomenon and every Sunday morning in winter nowadays the county’s playing fields are a buzz with hundreds of youngsters enjoying, learning and playing rugby union football. At the club plans are afoot to mark the ‘Golden Jubilee’ with a series of special events which will kick off with a jamboree day in September heralding the club as the ‘Birthplace of Mini and Junior Club Rugby’. England international Luther Burrell and England Women’s Under 20’s international Bryony Field are two of the players who got their start in the game at Huddersfield. Tracy Davis is the club’s current and longest serving Chair of Age Grade. She says, “I am very proud of all our coaches, managers and volunteers who work tirelessly to make sure our 300 players and their families have the best rugby experience possible. Celebratory plans are being made and I am looking forward to our Mini and Junior Festivals in March which are always a success and draw teams from all over the country. It is also always a pleasure to welcome touring groups. We have built up a good reputation for our warm hospitality and of course the good standard of rugby we offer.” Out of space? Storage soulutions from just £3.45 per week Reliable, Secure and Affordable At HD1 Secure Self Storage, we pride ourselves in providing the right storage solution at a cost-effective price. Conveniently located within half a mile of Huddersfield town centre, our purpose-built facility allows you to store your items in a dry, secure environment, with handling equipment to help you move your items from vehicle to unit. 24-hour CCTV Monitoring | Flexible Unit Space Heated | Secure, Clean and Dry | Competitive Rates T: 01484 484363 W: www.hd1secure.co.uk Albert Mills, Albert Street, Lockwood, Huddersfield HD1 3PZ www.sportyorkshire.net 9