South­port coach­ing for kids

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Life -

HUN­DREDS of lo­cal young­sters are be­ing given the chance to be­come ris­ing rugby stars thanks to an ini­tia­tive by South­port Rugby Club, which is aimed at get­ting more young peo­ple into the sport.

With the help of fund­ing from Fletcher’s So­lic­i­tors, Sport Eng­land and South­port RFC, pri­mary and se­condary school chil­dren in South­port and Formby are get­ting the op­por­tu­nity to train with pro­fes­sional coaches over the course of a num­ber of weeks.

Pupils have the chance to take part in rugby skills ses­sions as part of their school’s cur­ricu­lum and also in ex­tracur­ric­u­lar clubs. Schools from around the lo­cal area can then com­pete against each other and put their train­ing to the test at the Rugby Fes­ti­val, which is held at South­port Rugby Club.

The com­mu­nity coach­ing scheme, launched in Novem­ber, now em­ploys three com­mu­nity coaches who are work­ing with schools across South­port and Formby.

Coach­ing is tak­ing place at Bishop David Shep­pard, Kew Woods, Birk­dale High, St Johns Ains­dale and Holy Trin­ity.

In 2017, girls coach­ing will be­gin at Formby High, Greenbank and Me­ols Cop.

Or­gan­is­ers hope to grow the scheme in the new year to work with more schools, recruit new coaches and en­cour­age more young peo­ple to give rugby a try.

Com­mu­nity coach James Bai­ley said: “It’s been a real priv­i­lege to be part of this scheme and I’m proud to see how many chil­dren have thrown them­selves into the sport.

“A key fo­cus for us is to at­tract more girls into rugby and this has been re­ally suc­cess­ful so far. Our girls rugby fes­ti­val, which took place ear­lier this year, saw 100 play­ers com­pet­ing at the club.

“It was bril­liant to see so many girls get­ting in­volved and we’re hop­ing to recruit even more young peo­ple next year, while also hir­ing more com­mu­nity coaches to keep ex­pand­ing the scheme”.

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