Bedford Blues star Darren Fearn was delighted when he returned to Woodlands School this week for a coaching day with their pupils.
Fearn, whose mum Annette is headteacher at the special needs school, did some coaching there three years ago and was impressed with one young pupil in particular, Jamie Margetts.
Much to the delight of the Blues prop, Margetts has progressed to play for Scarborough RUFC’s under-16s team.
Fearn said: “I came into Woodlands about three years ago and did some coaching with the pupils then. When I came back yesterday I recognised one of the boys, Jamie Margetts, who I thought had potential last time I came back.
“He has really come on since then and has played for Scarborough’s under-16s recently.
“It is great to see that personally. I could tell he was a good player when I came through last time but to see him improve so much and to have played for Scarborough is absolutely fantastic.
“I love coaching and did some in Newcastle and have done some since I moved to Bedford.
“But I enjoy coming into the special needs schools and working with children with behaviour issues.
“These kids don’t get enough attention when it comes to sports most of the time and they are often stereotyped as being physically inable, and that is a real shame.
“All the guys seemed to enjoy the sessions yesterday and they played a game of tag rugby in the afternoon.
“They all understood the rules fine and were laughing and joking, and that’s great to see when you’re coaching.”
Woodlands’ deputy headteacher Grant Lenton has been delighted by the influence Fearn has had during his visits to the school.
Lenton said: “It’s fantastic that Darren comes in to coach our kids.
“He has visited a few times now and all the children respond to his visits superbly.
“The way Darren interacts with the kids is fantastic and they are all really motivated when he comes in.
“Jamie has taken it one step further and got involved at Scarborough, which is great and shows the good work Darren has done with him is paying off.”