JUNIOR REPORT: No better lesson than game time

Tomasz Chadwick's Junior Report
Tomasz Chadwick's Junior Report

Last Sunday was a relatively busy one for our mini and junior set-ups, with fixtures for every single age group other than our under-sixes (who aren’t allowed to play competitively yet).

Scarborough RUFC were hosts for an under-sevens and and under eights East Yorkshire Tournament, where sides from Bridlington, Pocklington and Malton all came with multiple teams to play against our younger sides.

Meanwhile our under-nines to under-12s were away competing in similar tournaments in Malton and Whitby respectively.

I’m a big believer in game time being the best teacher for younger ones in sport.

You can dissect the game into multiple facets at times with a very detailed and complex training session, but players of a young age are very rarely able to put what they’ve learned into a game setting when there is pressure.

That’s why tournaments like these are so important.

Having our players experiment, make mistakes and see success first hand in a fixture will teach them so much more.

This weekend our minis will be able to put this approach to the test as minis teams from Bridlington will be travelling to Scarborough.

Our under-13s and under-17s also played over the weekend but were up against quality opposition and unfortunately lost out.

Despite this I’m very happy with the progression these age groups have shown over the last few months.

Both struggling for numbers at the start of the season, the sides are now playing regular fixtures and starting to look quite competitive too.

Hopefully they’ll have a change in fortunes over the coming months and will continue to push on.

Sunday was also a significant day for our under-14s and under-15s as they managed to get their first win of the season against Bridlington.

Zak Kirk had a fantastic game leading from the front as always, with Sam Jackson in particular impressing in the backline.

Our under-16s also picked up a fantastic win against Pocklington in the Yorkshire Plate.

This is certainly a tournament that this team should be hoping to win this year, and results like this one won’t do their confidence any harm.

I was very happy to see that the players working hard off the pitch are gaining their rewards on it.

Owen Davies, Ben Minghella and Gregory Parker have all improved significantly over the last 12 months and put in another fine display over the weekend.

Scarborough RUFC and McCain both hold the same view on promoting healthy lifestyles in the youth, which is the very foundation of the Active Youth Scheme.

For this reason the club will always place a special emphasis on participation before competition.

We would rather see 30 children enjoying their training experience at the club in an age group than 15 training solely to win.

However, we fully appreciate players (especially at a junior level) are extremely eager on improving their own ability and playing performance.

Last year the club began its first ever strength and conditioning programme for the elite players of each junior age group.

The programme is run by David White, who is one of the gym instructors at Barons Fitness.

His workshops are designed to condition our players perfectly for the sport so that they can enhance their performance levels in fixtures and he’s doing a fantastic job in achieving this.

As well as this, in the future I’m planning a lecture from the sports nutritionist at Yorkshire Carnegie to speak to our junior players about the importance of the food they eat on a daily basis.

It’s little things like these that ensure Scarborough RUFC is a club that can cater to all abilities.

It will be no surprise to me that over the coming years we will see more players than ever representing the country at a young age.