Rugby: Harlow Rugby continue to develop schools game

Lifestyle / Mon 6th Mar 2017 at 05:12pm

Report by Chair of Rugby, Paul Tucker

Our Schools Development Programme started back in July 2016 and we are pleased to report we have taken some huge strides forward and we have made a difference!

Our achievements so far:

· We have made contact with over 30 Primary, Junior and Secondary schools in Harlow
· We have 2 Harlow Rugby Club Schools Development sponsored UKCC Level 2 Qualified Coaches
· We have provided our coaches with Harlow RUFC and sponsors branded kit and equipment
· We have hosted the secondary inter-schools tournament
· We have hosted schools matches at the clubhouse on a Saturday morning
· We will be hosting the schools district finals in March 2017
· Most notably, we have provided in excess of 400 hours of coaching assistance at 14 participating schools

Schools report:

As we strive to regroup and refocus our efforts on rugby participation at school, school take-up and the clubs offering we have recently conducted a review of the Schools Development Programme and surveyed all participating schools. Whilst all the schools that responded to the survey were incredibly grateful that we had engaged with them and did provide a good level of coaching assistance there are things that we could do better!
“Content of lessons is varied and adapted to whether we need to play inside or outside. Our children are challenging and variety but at the same time consistency is a fine balance which is well achieved by our coach”

“Very accommodating and welcoming. Good with pupils”

“Our pupils are only up to year 3 at present but we would like to form a link with the youth section to act as an outlet for any of our pupils who were keen”

“ The Rugby sessions are much appreciated!”

“Incorporating general fitness activities within the session for the older children is very useful and highlights some real fitness issues with some of them so we would like this to continue”

So, what next?

· We will continue to offer assistance at schools
· We will continue to host the secondary inter-schools competition
· We are open to discussion about hosting other school matches at our new facility next season
· We want to enhance our schools relationship but we do need to streamline our offering
· We need to dispense with the broad brush approach – One size doesn’t fit all!
· We need to target and maintain key school relationships and work better within the schools curricular
· We need to get better with our communication, our organisation and in some instances, our delivery!

Following the review and cognisant that Rugby has no current curricular time it should also be noted that Tom Kavanagh has recently stepped down as a Harlow RUFC Community Rugby Coach and will be focusing his attention on other business commitments and I (Paul Tucker) will assume the role of interim co-ordinator. We would like to thank Tom for his efforts in engaging a number of schools and his help in getting the programme up and running. Jake Watts will continue as a Harlow RUFC Community Rugby Coach with a limited number of hours per week.

In order that we can further plan for next season we have asked all schools to advise of any Rugby assistance they would like carried forward whilst giving due consideration to budget, deliverables, the club image and value for money.

It’s been quite a steep learning curve but nonetheless we’ve made decent progress from a standing start and without the support of our sponsors ARG Group and Bennbrook Windows this wouldn’t have been possible and we thank them for their current and continued support.

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