With the Rugby world cup coming to England in the near future, the RFU are already making plans to host the surge in new players that are expected to take up the sport along with the planned success of the tournament.
The current Six Nations Championships has already seen a marked increase in new players coming along to Scarborough RUFC’s Silver Royd base on a Sunday morning and this is a continuing trend seen throughout the season across all age levels of the minis game.
For the current under-12s’ coach, Iain Butterworth, however, this is an exciting development.
This season has been an important one for his squad, as it is the under-12s final year playing in the minis category before it advances to the ranks of junior rugby.
This step will see a number of important changes, as the squad steps up to a full team of 15 and matches will be played on the full size pitch: “The advancement into junior rugby is an opportunity that not only the players, but any coach looks forward to,” says Butterworth.
“This is my first season in full charge of the squad and while quite a number of the players are new to the game, I get immense satisfaction from seeing the week-on-week improvement from all of the players in the squad.
“The step-up to junior rugby will probably see the biggest change to the game throughout a young player’s career.”
“If there is ever a time to come along to the club to start playing for the under-12s, it’s now.
“In many cases, this is the first year that children get exposed to rugby at school and coming along to the club on a Sunday morning to train with the squad really advances a player’s understanding of the game.” added Iain.
There are, however a number of perceived barriers that sometimes prevent a player from coming along to train with the squad, and Iain has tried to rectify this as the season has progressed. “I attended the last inter-schools matches earlier on in the season and I was really impressed by the amount of talent that is out there in the local schools.
I spoke to players, coaches and parents during the tournament and there seems to be a bit of reluctance to come along to the training on a Sunday morning.
This seemed to stem from the misconception that a player perhaps needed to be of a certain level, or needed to be invited along to the club.
I asked a few players and parents to come along to coaching and I am pleased to say that a number of these are now turning up for coaching and playing in the under-12s squad.”
There is definitely more scope to get increased squad numbers too. “As the team will comprise 15 players at the start of next season, we will naturally need to grow the squad.”
We are a very friendly club and welcome any new players with open arms, irrespective of experience. I do hope that with the combination of playing the game at secondary school, and the fantastic facilities the club has to offer, we will see a continuing trend in new players turning up to play.
Iain is looking forward to seeing new players coming along to the club and playing the game and relishes the opportunity of helping to advance players’ skills during this exciting time in their playing career.
“I have always said that players at mini and junior level are the lifeblood and future of any club and it’s important to make sure that players are given the opportunity to come along and play for the club at this age and given the right amount of support.
“It’s a fantastic game and it is going to be great being part of the under-12s squad’s transition into junior rugby.”
Iain has made an incredibly positive impact this year and is always eager to help out where he can.
For anyone looking to try out rugby for the first time, maybe after watching it on television, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with myself or come to training on Sunday mornings at Scarborough RUFC.