Carolyn Kokta with some of the youngsters she sponsored for the Saints' residential course at Stowe School ©Northampton Saints
Community News Chris Kokta Memorial Trust supporting youngsters during Saints’ record summer
Six budding rugby players experienced the Saints’ recent residential Monarch Rugby Academy thanks to support from the Chris Kokta Memorial Trust.
The Trust, which gives backing to young rugby players in the East Midlands, provided the funding for Ben Savage, William Willcocks, Joshua Evans, Thomas Bulmer, Arthur Power and Daniel Staples to spend five days at Stowe School and be trained by the Saints’ community coaches and first team squad.
The sextet, all aged between 12 and 17, applied for the funding by demonstrating their promise as rugby players and including testimonials from school or club coaches.
And Carolyn Kokta, whose support was crucial in the career development of Aviva Premiership players Joe Gray and James Cannon, amongst others, says that it was very pleasing to see how much the youngsters enjoyed their time at Stowe.
“The Trust was set up to help young rugby players further their careers and enjoy playing the game, and I’m delighted that all six youngsters had a good time at Stowe,” she commented.
“The Saints community team run a superb residential course. Not only do the youngsters learn a lot from the community coaches and Saints first team players, but they also get to play and train alongside players from across the country and overseas, too.
“It is an experience that I’m sure Ben, William, Joshua, Thomas, Arthur and Daniel will remember for a long time, and I’m very happy that the Chris Kokta Memorial Trust was able to be a part of that.”
The Saints community department is in the middle of a record summer, which has seen most of its Monarch Rugby Academies filled to capacity, including the residential three-day and five-day courses at Stowe.
Head of community Sian Haynes says that the last few weeks have surpassed all of her previous years at the club.
“It’s been a superb summer of Monarch Rugby Academies,” she said. “Of course there has been the good weather, but all of the coaches and players have brought excellent attitudes and have wanted to get the most out of the courses.
“We have repeat bookings year on year, but this summer we have seen a lot of new faces, too, and it has been great to see courses book up well in advance of their starting date, from Banbury to Ipswich.
“We’re also in the position where we’re seeing players who we’ve had as attendees on our courses also come through the Academy system to become full-time professionals at Franklin’s Gardens. This is very pleasing for all of us, and shows the great rugby talent we have in the east of England.”
There are three more Monarch Rugby Academies this summer holiday, but with Ipswich sold out the only opportunities to experience a course first hand are at Oundle School (August 19th-21st) and Ampthill RFC (August 27th-29th). There is also a one-day kicking course at Franklin’s Gardens on Friday, August 30th.
To book one of the final few remaining places CLICK HERE and follow the relevant links.