100 local children benefit from professional rugby coaching
You may already know that we’re proud to sponsor Coventry Rugby Club’s many community-based initiatives such as Rugby & Reading, Rugby in Schools and Project:500 camps. But we also support Wolverhampton Rugby, a local grassroots club.
Wolverhampton Rugby is the type of place where great players often begin their careers. They have adult male and female teams, boys’ teams, and are expanding to include a girls’ team too. Being run by volunteers, it relies heavily on parents to step up as coaches, especially at the mini and junior levels.
Coventry Rugby fully understands the complexities and pressure this can put on small, volunteer groups and therefore set up Junior Club Coaching Nights, in partnership with Charter Savings Bank. Coaching nights provide activities to the whole mini and junior sections of selected clubs within the Midlands, and Wolverhampton was one of the first to be chosen.
This initiative supports and coaches the wonderful individuals that put so much into creating space and accessibility for local youngsters to get into the sport – something that has become even more vital since the pandemic.
On a blustery autumn evening, a team of Coventry coaches, as well as some of their first-team players, travelled to Wolverhampton to provide an insight into how a professional club trains. But it wasn’t all work – they also brought an evening of great fun and enjoyment.
Craig Smallman, Coach Co-ordinator and volunteer coach of Wolverhampton’s under-13s team, spoke of the impact of having Coventry share their knowledge: “Having the Coventry players actually here, giving their time back to the kids at a grassroots level, is unbelievable. This doesn’t happen in many places – this is a big deal, something I never thought would happen.”
With an amazing turnout that surpassed expectations, 100 children attended the session, excited to learn from professionals. Coventry shared their experience with them and the Wolverhampton coaches, splitting them into several age-appropriate groups, ranging from teaching general skills for the younger players through to giving specialist training to the teenagers.
In regular training sessions the children get so much enjoyment from playing with their ‘rugby family’ and playing with children outside of school. It’s something that’s relaxing and enjoyable for them outside of the learning environment, while giving them a foundation in discipline and how to work in a team.
This extra special session was a great opportunity to also raise awareness of the sport in the local community, and really show the young players what they could achieve if they put their minds to it. For the Coventry players it was about providing the children with inspiration, seeing the smiles on their faces, and making it worthwhile for those that are giving up their time to support grassroots clubs such as this.
Paul Whitlock, Group Managing Director of Savings at OSB Group said, “We feel so passionately about the community outreach Coventry Rugby provide and we are delighted to be able to help support the vital work they do in our local communities. We understand that these difficult times can have an impact on children being able to access these activities, so now more than ever it is key to offer an outlet for youngsters to continue the vital training they enjoy.”
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