A GROUP of Morpeth youngsters were told to pack their bags to kick-off efforts to raise funds for their rugby tour.
The boys, who play for Morpeth Under-13s and recently won the Northumberland Plate Final in a victory over Blyth, joined coach Dave Chattaway and parents to help pack customers’ bags at the town’s Morrisons store.
Some handy work by the enthusiastic youngsters and the generosity of the public saw more than £800 raised, which will go towards funding their at Easter next year.
The team will be travelling by ferry to the Netherlands to play two games against teams from the Noordwijk.
The players will be staying in youth hostels for the duration of the trip.
Further supermarket bag packs are planned alongside other activities over the coming months as the team looks to raise as much as possible to offset the cost of the trip, which will be around £260 per head.
Planned events include a cake and pudding stall at the end-of-season barbecue at Morpeth Rugby Club on May 13.
Parents will also be able to challenge the teenagers on a climbing wall and there will be a raffle to win a box of six wines donated by the Bin 21 wine shop in Morpeth.
Other events include a summer holiday treasure hunt, a bucket collection at Newcastle Falcons RFC and Newcastle United FC, rugby skills coaching and a pre-season farm fun day out.
Next season will see domino cards being sold at home matches, a black tie Hallowe’en party and, for braver souls, a chilly North Sea New Year’s Day sponsored dip.
Coach Chattaway said: “An overseas tour will be a great opportunity for the boys to enjoy the sporting culture of another country and build on their recent plate win, playing some rugby and experiencing the hospitality of other nations.
“The bag pack was a great start and we’re now looking to build on this with other activities.”
The club is always looking for pledges of money and suggestions for fundraising ideas, which can be put to Dave on 07739 206317 or e-mail Deb Walton at firstname.lastname@example.org