The Ilkeston Colts rounded off their last home game of the year with a visit from their sponsor Roberts Bakery. The local family bakery has sponsored the junior strip since the beginning of the season and Lindsay Occleston, fourth generation member of the Roberts family, went along to meet the players before their game against West Bridgford Colts.
Lindsay handed out some Roberts Bakery sandwich thins and premium speciality breads to the youngsters, which were made at the firm’s bakery on Manners Industrial Estate, Ilkeston. Lindsay met the team’s youngest player, 16-year old Charlie Clarke, and was presented with a special souvenir shirt by Ilkeston RUFC Club President Nick Pettitt.
Lindsay said: “It was terrific to meet these young players as they prepare to progress to the senior game. It’s important to inspire youngsters to play on into adulthood and we’re delighted to support our local rugby club and to really encourage this young talent. The lads have had a great season so far and I wish them luck next year.”
Neil Whitehead, Coach at Ilkeston RUFC, added: “The 16-24 age group is they key age to hold on to players and give them the confidence to step into the adult game. We’re lucky to have a strong youth section and support from companies like Roberts is really important in helping us to keep our players involved. With their backing, we’ve been able to put together a kit package for the team. We can also help the players undertake any coaching or refereeing courses to improve their game and aid this transition.”
The Ilkeston Colts have had wins against Derby and Ashbourne this season and some narrow losses to Ashby and West Bridgford. A number of Ilkeston Colts are progressing to the adult game, with three youngsters having just played for the senior 1st XV and four having played for the senior 2nd XV.
Frank Roberts and Sons Ltd was founded in Northwich, Cheshire, in 1887. It employs 900 people and produces 3.5 million loaves, rolls, sandwich products and treats a week from its bakeries in Cheshire and Ilkeston, Derbyshire. For four generations, the Roberts family has continued the skilled tradition of baking fine bread, with many members of the Roberts family still actively working for the business.