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Saints in the Schools resumes for new academic year

Community rugby might look very different to usual in the age of social distancing, but the Club’s ‘Saints in the Schools’ programme continues to play an integral role in helping young people to develop – both on and off the field.

Over a number of years, Northampton Saints’ Community Team have cultivated a family of schools and colleges who are passionate about providing opportunities for their students and staff to access the sport of rugby.

The Saints in the Schools programme sees our community coaches create bespoke packages which cater to each individual school’s needs, to help their young people reach their full potential on the pitch and within the classroom environment.

And despite rugby clubs across the country still seeing their opportunities to train and play rugby limited by the current social-distancing guidelines, Saints community coaches are safely and carefully delivering their programme to local schools across Northamptonshire and beyond.

Moreover, schools can now benefit from a generous grant from the Wilson Foundation and reserve a Tackling Character, Tackling Health or Tackling Numeracy programme at 50% off the usual cost.

“It has been absolutely fantastic to get children back into sport sessions, and you can clearly see how much they are enjoying themselves,” said Michael Nyczka, a teacher at Oundle Primary School.

“Our teachers can already see real progression in our students from only a couple of weeks of sessions, but just as importantly, the sessions have been as COVID-19 secure as they could have been.”

Michael Nyczka, Oundle Primary School teacher

“The coach is really diligent at explaining the safety procedures and rules, reminding children of what is expected. Each class has different equipment that they use, and children are washing their hands before and after the sessions.

“The coaches also have cones around them which remind the children where they can and cannot go, and they all have great respect for the coach.”

Our support aims to improve achievement of all students whilst using rugby’s core values to improve behaviour and attitudes to learning. These values also help to develop essential life skills in students, including; communication, teamwork, fair play, leadership and sportsmanship.

We also work with school staff to develop confidence and competence in delivering rugby to ensure the sustainability of the sport in schools – and Nyczka is confident Oundle Primary are already seeing the benefits.

He added: “Over the course of this academic year, every year group at our school will have six weeks of sessions with Northampton Saints’ coaches.

“Over these six weeks, our own teachers observe for three weeks, help teach alongside the coach for two weeks, and then run the sessions themselves with the coach observing for the final week.

“This method enables us to use the sessions as teacher CPD, and Saints then give us progressive plans which our teachers can adapt moving forward, so we’re really looking forward to seeing the progress throughout the rest of this year.”

For more information on any of our schools programmes, or to register your interest in Saints delivering in your school, please email [email protected].