A WASTE recycling firm has shown its commitment to grassroots sport by sponsoring a school rugby team.

For the first time in years, Dyke House Sports & Technology College in Hartlepool has seen numbers attending coaching sessions hit the levels they are now.

And bosses at J&B Recycling have thrown their weight behind the rugby team by agreeing to kit them out with new strips.

Since the start of the new academic year, a small group of six interested in the sport has swelled to more than 20 on a regular basis and they are being helped along by former West Hartlepool fly-half Jon Benson.

Vikki Jackson-Smith, the managing director of J&B Recycling, went along to a training session to hand over the new kits.

Vikki, whose son Aidan plays for one of the rugby teams at Dyke House, said: “It’s important to encourage children to be active and to stay fit rather than sit in front of their TVs playing on an Xbox/Playstation all of the time.

“It’s also good to get young people playing in games because it helps them to learn how to work as a team and to make new friends. I have always enjoyed it and there is also a really good social side to sport.

“Aidan’s grandad Alan Jackson used to play rugby for Hartlepool Rovers so Aidan has always been interested in rugby.

“It’s just nice to hear that there are so many more at Dyke House enjoying rugby too and we’re delighted to be able to show them support by presenting them with new kits.”

Mr Benson, 39, a community rugby coach for the RFU in the Teesside area, said: “This is what we all strive to achieve. We come in to school in the hope of seeing numbers grow like they have here and it’s fantastic.

“We’re very grateful to Vikki and the team at J&B Recycling for providing us with the new kit, it is very much appreciated.”