OF all the previously dominant sports nowadays welcoming young children in large numbers, none are doing so with more gusto than rugby.

Among the clubs playing a particularly good family game is Northwich Rugby Club, which has no fewer than 100 mini superstars since its launch 12 months ago.

Go to Moss Farm on a Sunday morning and you will find parents and even grandparents encouraging the children playing rugby!

I’ve been a coach of the minis since the rebuilding and the beautiful thing about rugby is that there is a place in the game for every physique.

It doesn’t matter what your size or shape, there will be a role for you and you will get a lot from it.

Youngsters can start at three years of age and continue as a ‘mini player’ until the age of 13 before moving on to junior level.

Newcomers are encouraged to simply go along to the club on any Sunday morning where they are introduced to coaches as well as other young players.

The level of physicality grows in stages, with no contact in early years.

Girls and boys play as a group until the age of 11, when girls become independent.

“Rugby is no longer seen as the public school game it once was,” said my fellow coach Richard Dale.

“Players have become celebrities in the same way as footballers, and there is a terrific family dynamic at Northwich.”

Sam Naylor, another of our mini section coaches, is also concerned that sedentary video games are taking over from active sport, and urges more children to get involved.

The family drive comes from a club that was founded in 1965 but continues to progress, both on and off the field.

Many of today’s coaches have evolved from being introduced to rugby as minis themselves at Northwich, by their parents who were at that time, players for the club.

We have seen many young players develop a healthy interest in a better lifestyle, through the game of rugby, at Northwich Rugby Club.

The usual boundless enthusiasm was present during Sunday’s training session but parents should remember that the weather is wintery and temperatures have dropped.

So ensure you bring the appropriate clothing to make sure the children enjoy each game/session and are able to maintain their focus.

Keeping it in the family, all our coaches are volunteers and have various reasons for coaching; some are parents who are coaching their child’s team as they enjoy it so much, some are former players who have retired and want to put something back.

No matter what the reason is for coaching, there is great enjoyment and satisfaction, seeing the children develop, both as players and young people and knowing that you have contributed positively to something in your local community.