From its historic origins to the here and now, Rugby has the sport of rugby and a lot more!
18th February 2013
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Not surprisingly, rugby plays a huge part in both the history of the town and in our leisure and tourist industry.

Ask around and you will realise that there are few residents who are not involved in the sport in some way or another.

For example, you can introduce your youngsters to the sport by getting involved in the Rugby Lions Mini and Junior teams. Players aged from under 7 years to under 18 years, both boys and girls are currently being recruited and this is a fabulous opportunity to get the kids out onto the field, into the fresh air and expending some of that youthful energy I remember once having!

Training is held every Sunday morning at Webb Ellis Road 10am to 12 noon with qualified CRB certified RFU Coaches.

If, by some miracle, you've managed to reside in Rugby without becoming too familiar with the game and our local club, now is the time to explore what it has to offer.

Perhaps you are thinking about signing your children up to the Minis or Juniors but want to know more; the age group representatives and committee will be on hand to answer all your questions. And if you believe that rugby is just for the boys, think again! Rugby Lions has very successful girls and ladies teams.

So why not take a look around, get to know the hardworking people who make Rugby Lions the great club it is, and socialise at the BBQ and bar. Of course Rugby isn't just about the game.

Our town is home to one of England's oldest and most prestigious public schools and the setting of Thomas Hughes's semi-autobiographical masterpiece Tom Brown's Schooldays.

In fact, much of the television dramatisation of the novel starring Stephen Fry, was filmed on location at the school.

This was where Webb Ellis as a schoolboy allegedly bored with the slow pace of a football game, picked up the ball and ran with it, thus creating the game of rugby.

Other eminent literary figures also honed their craft at the school. Lewis Carroll excelled, especially in mathematics.

However, perhaps unsurprisingly, he also took keen interest in literature, devouring the works of William Shakespeare John Ruskin, Charles Dickens and Lord Alfred Tennyson.

He began writing short stories for his family magazine at a very young age and famously went on to give the world the delights of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

You may wonder how First World War poet Rupert Brooke would view his name being immortalised in the shape of the lively Wetherspoons Pub! (he would possibly be more enamoured with the Regent Street bronze statue).

Brooke was born in the town and was also a pupil at Rugby School where he wrote some of his best known poetry.

The theme continues with the poet and cultural critic Matthew Arnold also being a Rugby 'old boy.' Not surprising really as his father Thomas Arnold was an influential headmaster of the school.

Add to this roll call former pupils including Salman Rushdie, Neville Chamberlain, and no less than three Archbishops of Canterbury and it is little wonder that Rugby School holds a fascination for both sports and literary fans.

Then there is the diversity from sport and scholars, to the more recent development of the jet engine. Sir Frank Whittle built the world's first prototype jet engine in 1937 at the British Thomson-Houston works in Rugby, and continued to develop the early prototypes at Brownsover Hall.

Many of Rugby's attractions centre around our unique links to the game – Rugby School Close where it all started, the Rugby School Tour and Museum and of course the Webb Ellis Rugby Football Museum.

Back here in the 21st Century there are plenty of things to do day and night in Rugby, from the fine selection of bars and restaurants to the excellent parks and sports facilities, many of which you can find on our Business pages.

Keep an eye on our Events pages for a wide range of 'what's on' in the area.

Many of us are guilty of neglecting what's right on our doorstep when we have plenty to offer Rugby residents and visitors to the town!

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