Ospreys school visits developing young rugby

Hundreds of school children have benefited from the coaching of Ospreys Community Initiatives Officer Ioan Cunningham, who has visited schools the length and breadth of Ospreylia during the current autumn term.

Ioan, who joined the Community Rugby department the summer, has worked closely with a number of school-teachers in the region already, to put together specialised training programmes to suit the needs of individual schools, before assisting with the delivery in a series of school visits.

Amongst the schools to have received Ioan’s attention recently are Ogmore Comprehensive in Bridgend, Sandfields School in Port Talbot and Swansea’s YGG Bryn Tawe. As Ioan explained,

“We are very keen to ensure that as many youngsters as possible get access to the game of rugby, and in particular, to quality coaching. For many children, that comes via school as they may not live close to a rugby club, and in many cases, for whatever reason, the school may feel that it needs assistance in a particular area, in order to offer pupils the level of coaching that is required. When that is the case, I’m happy to step in and work with the school to identify and deliver a programme of sessions that will raise the core standards in the children in the basics of the game, something that is vitally important to our aim of increasing the player base in Ospreylia.

“Looking at some recent examples, you will see a variety of issues have been covered in the sessions. Working with Ogmore, I delivered core skill sessions covering passing, decision-making and evasive running under pressure, as well as advising on team preparation ahead of games. At Sandfields, I covered decision making when in contact, tackle technique and rucking skills, as well as working with the teachers to assist them with their own development, in terms of directing play and players. I’ve also recently delivered tackle technique and contact skills sessions at Bryn Tawe, which was delivered to pupils in the Welsh language.

“I can’t stress enough how important the development of young players is to our overall vision at the Ospreys. Development from within is at the heart of our culture here, and schemes like this can only be of long term benefit to the schools, the pupils, and to the rugby community as a whole within Ospreylia, as the children who benefit from the sessions are the future of rugby in this region. The Autumn term has been a very busy and successful term, and with the Christmas Holidays approaching, I’m looking forward to working with more schools in the New Year.”

To find out more about how Ioan and his colleagues in the Ospreys Community Rugby Department may be able to assist at your school, please email ioan.cunningham@ospreysrugby.com or telephone 01792 324 650.