Southport coaching for kids
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”.