A young rugby player has been rewarded for his talent and skill on the field. Elijah Delaidriti, a Year 8 student at Richmond School and Sixth Form College, has been awarded the North East Rugby League U12 Player of the Year.

Hosted by Newcastle Thunder, at Kingston Park Stadium, the nominations are taken from the players’ own clubs and are backed up by the other member clubs who are also required to nominate someone from outside of their club.  Elijah plays for Catterick Crusaders and throughout the season he has been a mainstay of the Under 12s team.  Playing scrum half, twelve-year-old Elijah is responsible for guiding the team around the field. Jason Grant, Club Chairman, said: “This is a job Elijah does extremely well and has a high level of skill. When he has got the team on a roll going forward he will use a combination of strength and skill to exploit weaknesses in the defensive line to either create tries for his team mates or score them himself.”

Elijah has been playing rugby since he came to England six years ago. As well as being a key team member of Catterick Crusaders over the last six years, he also plays for Mowden Park’s Under 13s and the Year 8 school team.

Jack Moore, PE Teacher and Elijah’s school rugby coach, said: “Elijah came to us last year and it was very evident from the beginning that we had a hugely talented rugby player with bags of potential to become even better. Elijah reads the game very well and has a great set of hands that means he is very effective when going forward. Some of the offloads we see regularly wouldn’t look out of place in a Fijian 7’s team. Not only is Elijah very talented individually, but he works hard to bring his team together and regularly focuses on the teamwork and how they can all support each other to improve. He is someone who really embodies the Rugby Football Union’s TREDS values of rugby: Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship. It is not about the individual for Elijah and he is keen to see his friends improve and enjoy success themselves.”

Elijah will continue to train hard this season and to further develop his skills and says: “I always tell myself a loss is a lesson and a win is an achievement. I am really over the moon to receive this award and thank my coaches at Richmond School, Catterick Crusaders and Mowden Park.”