This weekend we held our first minis Sunday, offering free rugby coaching to all the youth of Scarborough.
The turnout was fantastic and the weather didn’t disappoint, with both contributing to a thoroughly enjoyable day for spectators and children alike.
It was wonderful to see so many new children signing up at all ages, both boys and girls.
The day itself gave me even greater confidence that this year the Active Youth development programme is going to grow from strength to strength, reaching more children than ever before.
All the coaches had planned thoroughly enjoyable sessions and it was nice to hear constant laughter from the children enjoying themselves as the day unfolded.
With regards to our under-14s first fixture, Matty Else and Nick Jackson’s team performed admirably against very tough opposition.
Ripon have a fantastic youth set-up, and their team had inflicted a heavy loss on our under-14s in the previous year.
It takes great courage at such a young age to perform with such heart following a result like that in the past.
And the scoreline reflected that effort.
A narrow loss is all that will be recorded, but a much improved performance was the most significant positive to come from the day.
The commitment and pride the team showed from the first minute until the last, has me utterly convinced that the team will grow with each fixture, and may just produce some real stars in the future.
Throughout the year (as previously promised), I’ll be offering free coaching to all schools and colleges around the region in the hope of increasing participation in the sport.
I’m delighted to say I have already made progress reaching certain institutions, and over the next fortnight I will be acting on that promise and running numerous sessions in a multitude of primary and secondary schools.
I’m very grateful to all those that have contacted me already, and for giving their pupils the opportunity to try rugby, or actively compete in the sport they already love.
I still have time in the week I can fit in other schools, so please do get in touch if you’re reading this as a parent or as a teacher, for I’d be more than happy to extend the Active Youth programme to as many as possible.
As a final round-up, I had a rewarding day on Tuesday, meeting all of the boys in the Scarborough Sixth Form College that were planning on playing this year.
I will be coaching them on a weekly basis and offering them support during their fixtures.
It’s a pleasure to be able to offer our facilities at Scarborough Rugby Club to help this team progress.
The team are an entertaining group and have talent in abundance, so I’m genuinely excited to see what heights they can reach this year.
I’d also like to give a brief mention to all the staff at the Sixth Form College and the Yorkshire Coast College, who by working with myself, have created a ‘triumvirate link’ with Scarborough Rugby Club.
Their tireless work has meant students at both institutions now have equal opportunities to play for the same team.
The season has just started and there is so much work to be done and lots to look forward to.
But for all the pessimists out there – don’t fear.
After all there are only 15 Mondays left before Christmas.