18th May 2018, 09:40 | Community

Sea of Orange ready for Magic

Sea of Orange ready for Magic

Cramlington Rockets to descend on Newcastle again.

By Dan Fowler

If you have been to Magic Weekend since its move up to Newcastle in 2015, you may have noticed an enthusiastic bunch all wearing orange.

Now you are probably thinking they are Castleford Tigers fans.

Although the majority of orange shirts will travel up from West Yorkshire, this particular article focuses closer to the Magic venue itself.

Northumberland club Cramlington Rockets have attended every Newcastle Magic Weekend and they will be present once again in 2018 with over 400 people making the short journey.

The Rockets, alongside sister club Alnwick Bears, have been progressing well in recent times, winning the Rugby Football League's National Club of the Year Award before being boosted by £25,000 worth of funding from Aviva.

And what better way to celebrate the good times than a three-day (including Magic Friday when Newcastle face Bradford) Rugby League bonanza?

"I can still remember that feeling of walking to the stadium in year one and been amazed at all the different team shirts wandering around Newcastle with a buzz of excitement," said Jeff Ball, Cramlington’s chairman.

"Since then, Newcastle has consistently proved it deserves to be a home for Rugby League and it says a lot that this will be the fourth year Magic has been held here."

With 230 players at the club, from ages two to adults, everyone associated with the Rockets are getting involved with the showpiece event.

Cramlington's under-8s will take to the St James' Park pitch during half-time of the Wigan-Warrington match while Alnwick will have their turn to grace the Newcastle turf as mascots for the Salford-Catalans fixture.

"I think we have had about 200 people do something on the pitch over the past four years," Ball added.

"That is all the way from under-8s up to the adults but what we try to do is make sure as many new people as possible get to do it.

"We have got a lot of very excited eight-year-olds at the club at the minute."

And it would be amiss to not make a further comment on the Cramlington attire, which has certainly made the club a part of the Magic furniture.

"It's an interesting one," Ball commented.

"We certainly see ourselves as ambassadors for the North East.

"We get a good reaction whenever we see people and we have certainly had more and more people who have seen the t-shirts and recgonised the name.

"I think it's changed over the past four years from wearing an orange t-shirt to say 'we are here, there is rugby league in the North East' compared to now where we are National Club of the Year.

"What strikes me is that because of Magic Weekend raising the awareness, a lot more people look to the North East as an area for growth as the sport."

If you are attending Magic, make sure to keep an eye out for the ever-growing sea of orange!