The Ospreys Coach Development team have been conducting a series of meetings in recent weeks to advise the Junior District Associations of the rationale behind, and the content of, the new WRU Rugby Pathway, 'Minis to Millennium'.
This new template for the development of young players is the culmination of a vast amount of research and analysis of the junior game, focusing on each age group.
As the title implies, the latest pathway is designed to stage rugby development at the entry level to ensure that maximum emphasis is placed on all round skills, tutored in an environment of enjoyment.
The philosophy is underpinned by the phrase, ‘Player Centred, Development Driven, Competition Supported’.
A further seminar was held last week at Llandarcy Academy of Sport for all appropriate coaches, with the overall response being very positive and the majority of coaches enthusiastic about the new approach.
Tony Thomas, Ospreys Coach Development Officer, said:
“This new Pathway encourages an attitude amongst coaches that re-emphasises the need to put children first. The development of a variety of skills for all participants in a safe and enjoyable atmosphere is paramount.
“The culture of 'winning' being the top priority at this level must be removed. This is a significant challenge for coaches but one which I am confident they will not only be successful but also find enjoyable for themselves”
The next phase in the rollout will see the Coach Development team meeting with the Referees Society.
Any coaches with any observations or queries should contact Tony Thomas on firstname.lastname@example.org or contact your local Player Development Officer.