It's been all about rugby in secondary schools in Peterborough for the last 12 weeks as Northampton Saints helped develop a brand-new programme looking to transition young sports students into a local rugby club.
Over the course of the last 3 months students from Hampton College, St John Fisher High School and Thomas Deacon Academy have been engaged in a full range of multi-sport activities all with very transferable skills. Playing netball, football, American football, touch rugby, tag rugby and even some wrestling, the students have been working to develop strong leadership skills as well as participating in new sports.
The programme, headed up by Saints Community Coach Simon Leader has been a huge success and has seen 42 young sportsmen transitioned from their school into active involvement with their local rugby club.
Hosting, coaching and refereeing a tag rugby festival for local primary schools recently, the students have also completed RFU Rugby Ready and Scrum Factory qualifications as well as participated in rugby activities at their local clubs and support Saints coaching within their local primary schools.
Saints Head of Community Connor Fleming was delighted with the uptake and success of the programme.
"The programme has been a huge success and we are very much looking forward to continuing to deliver the programme throughout all of next season."
Likewise Mike Goode, a teacher at Hampton College, said the Saints-run programme was a huge success amongst his students.
"The chance to get involved in this course has been brilliant," he commented.
"From our 28 boys slected at the start, 25 have completed the course and taken away with them a number of qualifications.
"The organisation of the programme and quality delivery, from a team of friendly coaches has enabled the boys to build confidence, teamwork skills and develop the mental toughness, leading to a high level of commitment.
"I was not expecting so many to complete the course but they have bought into the programme and this is partly down to the professional relationships that they have built with the Saints coaching team."
Students from Hampton College, were also thrilled to have been involved in the programme and said that their new qualifications will provide them with various opportunities in the future.
"It was a eally enjoyable course," One student noted.
"The coaches have given us some great advice about how to work with young people and lead in rugby. They have given us opportunities to show what we can do outside of normal school day."
Another student added:
"I have really enjoyed this course, it has given us some wonderful opportunities. It was a really good experience and I'm already looking forward to next year to see what I can make of these new qualifications. The team of coaches from Saints have been really helpful."
If you would like more information about this programme and how to get your school involved please email [email protected].