LEDBURY Rugby Football Club Under 12 team have just had a really good time on a tour to Devon, which they helped finance themselves by doing a series of fundraisers -from bag packing to crawling up a steep hill.

Ellie Ramsey, the team manager and a director at the club said: “We stayed at Dartmoor Activity Centre and spent the weekend doing a range of activities, led by coaching staff and Reach Outdoors.

“We played a series of games against Ivybridge RFC and Plymstock Oaks RFC and a great opportunity for team building was engaging in a caving expedition.

“Prior to the tour the players showed resilience, patience and determination in all of their tasks to raise money towards the tour.

“We saw this as a wonderful opportunity for our team to strengthen the friendships that rugby forges and we wanted to make this as affordable for all team members as possible.”

Ledbury RFC has a thriving junior section with a squad of 29 players, of which 25 went on the tour. The U12 team draw players from across Hereford and Worcestershire. They train twice weekly at Ledbury RFC, Ross Road, Ledbury and have a mix of players – some have been together since they were five years-old and some have joined this season having never played rugby before.

The rugby team took part in numerous fundraising activities and have been supported by Tesco, in Ledbury, to run two bag packing sessions prior to the tour.

Ellie said: “We would like to thank Tesco Ledbury for facilitating bag packing exercises, Ledbury Rugby Football Club for allowing us to host cake sales and a raffle and all the people who have donated.” 

Their final fundraiser was an amazing sponsored walk and crawl up Ragged Stone Hill at Hollybush, Ledbury replicating The Shadow of Ragged Stone Hill, a 19th century novel centred on a monk from Little Malvern Priory who fell in love with a local girl and was condemned to crawl to the summit of the hill once a day as punishment.  

There is much folklore and legend surrounding Ragged Stone Hill that sits towards the south of the Malvern Hill range. One story is the tale of the monk who fell in love. He went on to break his vows of chastity and as a punishment, he was made to crawl up and down Ragged Stone Hill on his hands and knees every day for the rest of his life, asking forgiveness for his sins with every panful step that he took.

The rugby team only honoured this myth once – but they crawled to the summit of Ragged Stone from the bottom of the path at Hollybush, before continuing the epic challenge with a sponsored walk to British Camp, about seven miles.

Ellie said: “We don’t know what the next adventure is yet. We have a plan to purchase new rugby kit for the whole squad for the next season so potential sponsors would be really welcome.”

Ellie can be contacted via mjdir@ledburyrfc.co.uk

Here is the crowdfunding page:  https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/LedburyU12sTour?utm_term=Wm4rj5y8j