THE WELSH RUGBY UNION has enlisted some of the biggest names in the game to launch the next phase of its Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programme for community coaches at all levels.
Stars from each of the four regions, alongside WRU Coach Development Officers, are running practical tutorials throughout Wales on coaching key rugby techniques including passing, catching and gripping, and safe scrummage.
The likes of Aaron Shingler and Rhodri Williams (Scarlets), Josh Navidi and Rhys Patchell (Blues) and ex-players Peter Rogers (Dragons) and Duncan Jones (Ospreys) are just some of rugby stars involved in the initiative.
The hands-on sessions for coaches are also supported by online video tutorials from national squad players including Dan Biggar and Sam Warburton and recent internationals Chris Horsman, Robert Sidoli and Mathew Rees, with contributions to come from Gareth Anscombe, Rhys Webb and Rhodri Jones – where the players talk through training techniques and example drills.
The courses are free of charge and available to anyone coaching in the game in Wales. They are part of the WRU ‘Let Us Play’ initiative aimed at safeguarding rugby values in Wales and ensuring best practise coaching techniques are shared across the WRU from the National Squad to the grass roots community game.
Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland said: “CPD courses are our way of sharing the latest coaching techniques across all levels and formats of the game. The sessions have been thoughtfully developed to show coaches how to encourage excellence, promote safety and bring fun to training sessions. They are good for player development but, equally as important, they are a great way for coaches to develop their own skills.”
WRU’s National Coach Development Manager Gerry Roberts said: “In addition to providing a fun, relaxed learning environment CPD events are a forum for coaches to communicate freely on matters that arise in week-to-week rugby delivery and to get feedback from Coach Development Officers, elite players and peers.
“The support of key players from across the regions and from the national squad reflects just how important community coach development is to maintaining the high standard of rugby we enjoy at all levels of the game in Wales.”
The new round of courses builds on the successful launch of the CPD programme in September. Since then over 3,000 Welsh community coaches and 3,000 players have benefited from a WRU CPD sessions.
CPD sessions cater for coaches of all levels of experience and for all levels of delivery from children up to the adult game. To find out when sessions will run in your region and to book a place visit http://bit.ly/wrucpdbooking
Scarlets’ grassroots clubs show community spirit in delivering vital food packages
Scarlets community clubs have been working together to help deliver vital food packages across the region.
Volunteers from grassroots clubs and WRU girls hubs across Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire have been helping take the food packages to vulnerable members of society who are self-isolating during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The clubs have teamed up with the Scarlets Community Foundation — the charity arm of the Scarlets — and Carmarthen-based food wholesaler Castell Howell, while Scarlets players Osian Knott, Kieran Hardy, Ryan Conbeer and Jac Morgan have also lent their hand to the operation.
More than 300 packages were due to be delivered on Monday and Tuesday (April 6 & April 7), with the initiative highlighting that even without any action on the field, rugby clubs remain at the heart of their community.
Scarlets Community Foundation manager Caroline Newman said: “We have been overwhelmed with the support that we have received from local clubs, the number of people prepared to volunteer to help the most vulnerable in our communities has been touching.
“People’s reasons for requesting packs have often been heart-wrenching and it really has made us appreciate what we have.
“The foundation has worked closely with Castell Howell to make sure the packages are ready to go to those whose need is greatest, managing to turn things around pretty quickly and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in making this happen, our funder, Castell Howell, all the clubs, our helpline volunteer and the foundation members.
“Great teamwork which has made me proud to be part of the fantastic community that rugby creates.”
Here are the rugby clubs and WRU girls rugby hubs taking part in the initiative
Aberaeron, Aberystwyth, Amman Utd, Ammanford, Burry Port, Betws, Bynea, Cardigan, Cefneithin, Felinfoel, Fishguard & Goodwick, Furnace Utd, Haverfordwest, Kidwelly, Llandeilo, Llandovery, Llandybie, Llanelli Wanderers, Llangennech, Llangwm, Merched Mynydd Mawr, Milford Haven, Narberth, New Dock Stars, Newcastle Emlyn, Neyland, Penybanc, Pontyates, St Clears, Stradey Sospans, Tenby Utd, Tumble, Tycroes, Whitland, Yr Hendy.
Wales v Scotland postponed
WALES’ Six Nations match at home to Scotland on Saturday has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The two other Six Nation fixtures had already been postponed and no date has been confirmed to complete the 2020 Championship.
The Welsh Rugby Union had insisted earlier on Friday the game would “go ahead as planned”.
A WRU statement read: “The Welsh Rugby Union has maintained an open dialogue with, and continued to seek advice and direction from, the National Assembly for Wales and other stakeholders, including the Six Nations, on this fast-moving issue.
“Whilst medical advice remains consistent, we have decided that it is in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the UK and global sports industries.
“The WRU would like to thank all parties for their counsel on the subject and will make further announcements with respect to rescheduling the fixture in the coming days.
“Every effort has been made to stage this game and we appreciate that individuals will have been inconvenienced. Given the fluid and unprecedented nature of this issue a postponement became the only viable option.”
Domestic football at all levels in Wales suspended
THE FOOTBALL Association of Wales has today (13 March) taken the decision to suspend domestic football at all levels in Wales with immediate effect until April 4 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The intention at this time will be to resume the football schedule depending on the medical advice and conditions from the relevant authorities at that time.
The FAW is fully aware of the impact this will have on the domestic game but the health and safety of all fans, players, volunteers and stakeholders are of paramount importance.
The FAW will continue to monitor this situation on a day-by-day basis and will continue to provide updates when appropriate.
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