West Cork athlete to compete in Rugby 7s at UK’s 2017 School Games

Enya Breen in action.

Enya Breen from Skibbereen and Emily Lane from Mallow and  have been selected to be part of the Rugby 7s squad at the 2017 School Games National Finals.

The School Games are an integrated multi-sport event for the UK’s most talented school-age athletes and will take place at Loughborough University from 31st August to 3rd September 2017.

18-year-old Emily is a student at the St. Mary’s Secondary School in Mallow and a member of the Mallow RFC. Enya, also 18, is a student at the Skibbereen Community School and a member of the Bantry Bay RFC. Both will compete for the Combined Provinces squad at the event. They already have some impressive achievements – both have played for Ireland U18s, including at the 2016 European Championships.

Around 1,600 athletes will compete across 12 sports at the School Games, seven of which include disability disciplines. The four-day event is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust.

Emily and Enya will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of some of Britain’s biggest sporting stars who have competed at the School Games before going on to senior international success.

Previous competitors include Paralympic champions Hannah Cockroft, Ellie Simmonds and Jonnie Peacock, Olympic champion Adam Peaty, heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson and GB sprinter Adam Gemili.

The School Games are the springboard for future athletes: 56 of the 382 athletes representing Team GB at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio competed at the School Games.

At the event Emily and Enya will experience the excitement of competing at the highest level. They will live in a dedicated Athletes’ Village on the Loughborough University campus, take part in an Opening Ceremony and perform in front of huge crowds of spectators.

Emily and Enya say they are looking forward to competing at the School Games.

“The biggest challenge we face it not having enough girls playing the sport,” says Emily. “I haven’t had a team to train regularly with this season, so I’ve really had to motivate myself and train on my own to make the Munster and Irish rugby teams.”.

Enya says: “The 2017 Rugby World Cup has really inspired me. Women’s rugby is being promoted and has been given a much bigger profile because of it. There’s a great buzz around the country, and I’m looking forward to seeing the best players in the world compete against each other.”

“The School Games National Finals provide a great opportunity for talented young athletes like Emily and Enya,” says Ali Oliver, Chief Executive Officer of the Youth Sport Trust. “Competitors get a real taste of what it’s like to be part of a world-class sporting event at the amazing sporting venues of Loughborough University, and the event is a great way to see our future sporting champions in action today.”

Tickets for the event are available at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/2017schoolgames