European teens enjoy Ospreys experience

Dozens of teenagers from across the continent have spent the last two weeks immersing themselves in Ospreylian culture at the second Ospreys European Summer School.

Operated in conjunction with Swansea University, participants were based on campus for their stay, making use of the facilities at the University’s sports centre on Sketty Lane.

Ospreys coaches including Mefin Davies and Dan Griffiths delivered a daily programme of rugby skills, while support staff from the region then delivered lectures on a wide range of related topics such as nutrition, conditioning, sports psychology and analysis, providing the teenagers with valuable knowledge to take home with them as they continuing their rugby development.

In addition English Language Training Services, based at the University, provided daily English language lessons tailored to the needs and abilities of the individual candidates. Meanwhile, a parallel programme of Coach Development catered for the coaches who attended from the various overseas clubs represented at the Summer School.

The coaches kept a close eye on the young talent on the course, with one Italian teenager invited to then participate in training sessions with the ‘C’ group at the Ospreys, a select group of 16-19 year-olds on the regional development pathway.

Nicola Zanon (pictured above), a 17-year old fly-half from the Bassano del Grappa club in Vicenza, spent time with the Ospreys youngsters during his stay, looking comfortable in the company of the Eyasses.

Speaking about his experience, Nicola said:

It has been very enjoyable, and very exciting. The camp has been good and taught me new things, very different training, and I’ve learnt that I have to use my head when playing rugby.

“It’s been brilliant to be somewhere that you live rugby. The mentality, and the approach to the rugby, is different to anything I’ve experienced. Swansea is a really nice place, the people are really friendly, and I would like to come back.”

Tony Thomas, International and Community Programme Manager at the Ospreys said:

“The Summer School has been a huge success, providing a top quality rugby and cultural experience for players and coaches from across Europe, giving them a real taste of Ospreylian life on and off the field.

“We’ve created a world-class player development programme at the Ospreys, and the youngsters at the Summer School enjoyed an experience based on the exact same principles that we apply to our Elite Youth and Senior training programmes.

“The School also provides an opportunity for players to showcase themselves to Ospreys coaches, and as was the case with Nicola, he was identified as someone with potential and invited to train with the ‘C’ group during his stay, where he settled in very well and was made to feel a true part of the Ospreys family.”