September marked the launch of a new rugby academy at Scarborough Sixth Form College.
Over the last couple of months I have been coaching the academy side three times a week.
The academy is a healthy mix of both first and second year students, and each individual player is a pleasure to work with.
I often talk about how great it is to be in charge of a side that is ‘coachable’.
A side containing players willing to listen, take feedback on board and attempt to emulate that in future matches and training sessions. This side has that in abundance.
Last Wednesday the Sixth Form side had their first real opportunity to put what they’ve learned into practice in an away fixture on the road against Thomas Rotherham College.
I was delighted with the effort, commitment and passion each player showed in the fixture, but I was more impressed with how they stuck to particular strategies and systems we had worked on.
As well as a near perfect defensive performance, the team managed to score a number of well-worked tries and I was very content with the display.
Unfortunately though, Harry Silk sustained a nasty injury that will keep him on the sidelines for quite some time.
The thoughts of both myself and the team are with Harry and we all hope he makes a speedy recovery soon.
I’d like to now say a special thanks to Alessandro Zavatti. Alessandro moved here just under a couple of months ago from Canada to play rugby for Scarborough RUFC’s first team.
In this time he has volunteered at a number of different events around the club and now gives up his time to referee on a weekly basis.
Working in a club that’s run by volunteers, it’s always a bonus to get another person able to help in a different capacity when needed.
It’s even better when that person ends up being a fantastic addition to the club and goes above and beyond what’s necessary to help out.
Alessandro has really been a positive influence in our work with the youth, and his high standard of refereeing has also been a great service to both myself and the club.
Last week saw the beginning of our annual secondary school rugby tournaments, hosted at Scarborough RUFC.
There were strong performances from Scalby and St Augustine’s in the Year Seven tournament, each playing particularly well.
But it was Ebor Academy Filey that took the plaudits in the Year Nine tournament, winning all of their fixtures on what was a very rainy evening.
These tournaments are a fantastic way to offer competitive rugby to the youth in the area.
It was also a nice to see a number of players from these tournaments turn up to train at Scarborough RUFC over the weekend.
We will always encourage any new players to come and play if they have any interest in the sport, and hope all those considering playing know we’ll always welcome them with open arms.
Finally, on Sunday, we held a minute’s silence in memory of all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their family, friends and for their country.
A moment of silence is perfect for an occasion like this as it allows you to be left alone with your own thoughts, it allows you to reflect.
This week I have been reflecting on sacrifice and how much people give up on a regular basis to do something they enjoy, to ensure someone they love benefits and to help others.
Working at the club there are lots of volunteers who make sacrifices all the time.
It can be quite easy for the younger generation to hear words like the ultimate sacrifice and bow a head for a moment in reflection and not truly comprehend what it means (and that’s no criticism to them).
For me, the most powerful way to think about the ultimate sacrifice is to understand that when sacrifices are made, you lose something.
You may suffer in the short term but you’ll always have a chance to move on and continue in life.
When someone makes the ultimate sacrifice, they lose everything.
Please share a thought this week for all those that have left us, laying down their everything so we could have something today.