YOUNG rugby players have been forging new friendships with their counterparts across the channel.

Members of the Liskeard-Looe Mini Juniors Girls team travelled to Brittany to meet teenagers from the youth team in Liskeard’s twin town of Quimperlé.

During a short but packed itinerary, the girls and their French hosts had a lot of fun dancing, eating barbecue and swimming – as well as playing rugby of course.

Behind the weekend was coach Zoe A’Lee who accompanied the girls to Brittany along with fellow volunteer coach Jim Townsend and parents of some of the team members.

“The whole weekend was an amazing experience and definitely one to remember, playing Touch Rugby, making new friends and learning a new language; it was lovely to see,” said Zoe.

“All the girls thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and adapted brilliantly to the change in food, lifestyle and culture. They would love to do it again next year, ideally for a few days longer. Wouldn’t it be amazing to make it an annual event.”

During their visit the team were welcomed to Quimperlé’s town hall by local mayor, Michaël Quernez, and presented him with gifts from Cornwall.

The Cornish youngsters were given rubgy shirts to take home by the French players.

“When the girls made their presentation in French the mayor and whole entourage were enthralled,” said Jim.

“He made the point that it can seem like we live in a world of war and division at the moment, so putting real effort into building connections and friendships across borders is a really important thing to do. Even more so for the younger generation, for a brighter future.”

The trip was made possible thanks to a grant from Liskeard Town Council which helped out with travel costs.

It’s thought to be the first time in many years that a group of young people has made a twinning visit.

Town councillor Simon Cassidy said: “I’m so incredibly proud of Liskeard-Looe Girls Rugby and our friends in Quimperlé for organising this important exchange and for building upon the ongoing relationship between our two towns.

One of the many benefits of twinning is giving our young people the opportunity to experience different cultures and opportunities and this visit has achieved precisely that.

We look forward to their return visit to Liskeard sometime soon!

Cllr Cassidy added that during his first year as mayor, he and the council had strived to rebuild the once active ties between Liskeard and its twin town of Quimperlé - and that the trip had demonstrated all the positives that the council had envisaged.

He continued: “If any other clubs and organisations are interested in building relationships between themselves and our twin town, then please get in touch with me direct.”