The Ospreys Community Rugby Department have teamed up with Year 12 students at Brynteg Comprehensive School to host a tag rugby festival for pupils from Oldcastle Primary School
The festival is the culmination of several months work with the students as part of their BTEC diploma in Sports Coaching following an invitation from Mrs Miriam Beckinsale, one of the course leaders, for the Ospreys to deliver additional qualifications to their BTEC studies.
Following discussion with local sports development units, it was identified one barrier facing newly qualified young coaches is a lack of vocational experience or a proven track record "in the field".
With this in mind, Ospreys Coach Development Officer Dan Owens devised a programme that would allow the coaches to develop leadership, planning/organisation, practical delivery and evaluation skills in a vocational context via the medium of Tag Rugby, to generate the necessary vocational experience required by sports development units.
The programme saw each student taking part in the three hour WRU Community Tag Leaders Award, a two hour session planning lesson with Dan Owens, the delivery of three practical sessions with Year 6 feeder primary school pupils based on evasion, handling and tag based games, undertaking an evaluation of the sessions and a one hour festival planning session, culminating in the delivery of a tag rugby festival at Brynteg Comprehensive. The paperwork the students have generated during this programme has contributed as evidence towards their qualification.
Year 6 pupils from Oldcastle Primary School, a feeder school for Brynteg Comprehensive, participated in the tag rugby festival.
The success of the initiative has led to the Ospreys and Brynteg Comprehensive already agreeing to continue the project for next years Year 12 students, while the Ospreys Coach development department are looking to approach further centres of higher education to expand on the success of the initial trial which has proven to be an enormous success.
Miriam Beckinsale from Brynteg Comprehensive said:
"It has been great that the Ospreys have been able to become involved in the education of our students. What Dan has done over the past weeks is reiterate some of the key themes and messages we have been teaching these students in their BTEC in Sports Coaching, and also contextualise this learning in a vocational outcome.
"The students have really enjoyed the activities and challenges that Dan has set, and the opportunity that has been given to the students involved is invaluable. They now have practical experience to go with their qualification, which is more appealing to any employer."
Richard Owen, Year 6 Teacher, Oldcastle Primary School, added:
"I am delighted with the involvement my pupils have had with this programme. It is encouraging that the Ospreys are investing so much time and effort into the development of not only young players, but also, young coaches. Having worked with Dan previously, I know the support he will have provided to the students and the school has been immeasurable.
"We are increasingly looking to strengthen the bonds between the Brynteg Comprehensive and Oldcastle Primary School, and to ease the transition for the Year 6 pupils moving into Year 7. Through this programme, we have been invited on numerous occasions to the lower school site, further increasing the pupil's familiarity with the school and its facilities. All our Year 6 pupils have thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and from the experiences they have had, some of our non rugby players are looking to take up the sport next season."
Dan Owens, Ospreys Coach Development Officer, said:
"This programme is helping to pave the way for the development of young coaches within the sport. The opportunity that has been afforded to these young men has been a worthwhile step to strengthening our bonds within the Ospreys community, and opening their eyes to the commitments required and opportunities available to them in the real world.
"I personally have been privileged to take part in this programme, and the education of these young coaches. Seeing their development and attitude changes from an academic setting to out on the field is astounding. On this basis I have already been in talks with Bridgend County Borough Council Active Young Persons Department for a continuation of these coach development activities within the local community, and I have already agreed a follow up programme for next year with Brynteg Comprehensive.
"Talent Identification is often restricted to those who carry the ball, we are now working to identify coaches for the future, to support and develop those players."