As well as coaching talented young rugby players in the east of England Russell Sheldon is also chief information officer at NGA Human Resources, and came up with the idea as part of his company’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme.
As part of this programme, NGA Human Resources supports a number of charitable projects in Hyderabad, including working closely with ‘Cherish’ – an orphanage for discarded children found in and around the city.
Sheldon contacted Elite Player Development Group manager Ross Stewart about Saints supporting a tag rugby coaching event for a group of ‘Cherish’ youngsters. Using tag equipment provided by the Saints Sheldon ran a 90 minute coaching session for 30 children in one of the public parks in the centre of Hyderabad. Supported by members of his team, he introduced the boys and girls to some fun rugby-based activities before finishing off with a series of mini-matches.
“It is the best thing I have ever done from a coaching perspective,” he said. “None of the kids had ever heard of rugby or seen a rugby ball before today. They all took to it very quickly and by the end were playing some great rugby.
“It was incredibly moving to hear about the terrible experiences each of the kids have had at such young ages. To be able to spend time with them, see them laugh, smile and play as children should is something that will stick with me for ever, even more so because I was able to help them do that through rugby.”
At the end of the session, Russell donated the tag equipment and rugby balls used in the session on behalf of Northampton Saints.
For more information on ‘Cherish’ contact Russell Sheldon via [email protected]