It was heads down and ready for action when pupils from three Nottingham schools came head to head with the Leicester Tigers at a special rugby coaching day.
Year 7 and 8 students from Rushcliffe School, Farnborough Academy and Arnold Hill Academy were thrilled to spend a day being taught by coaches from the Premiership rugby club.
The Trent Academies Group, which runs the schools, organised the day so its young sports enthusiasts could not only discover more about rugby but also benefit from a different type of learning experience outside the classroom.
Phil Crompton, CEO of the Trent Academies Group, said: “It’s great to see nearly 100 boys and girls from across our three schools coming together to hone their rugby skills with top coaches from Leicester Tigers. An experience like this not only helps to make them better rugby players but it also increases their confidence and teaches them how important it is in life to set high standards for themselves.”
During the day, the students were coached in different rugby techniques and taught about the principles of the game. It culminated in a rugby festival where the three schools played against each other.
Juan Gonzalez Mendia, community manager at Leicester Tigers, said: “On the field we teach them how to resolve different problem scenarios and basic motor skills. In the workshops they learn about the values of the game such as respect, teamwork, discipline, and resilience. We hope they will come away wanting to join a rugby club and take on rugby for life. But the main idea is for them to learn in a different way. They can apply the problem-solving skills and core values of the game to anything in life.”
Pupils were buzzing about the opportunity. Cole Healey, aged 13, from The Farnborough Academy, said: “It’s really exciting. We’re learning about so many different things – what to do if you’re injured, how to teach other kids rugby and what sort of diet you need to play the game….lots of protein and carbs!”
Khalid Manful, aged 12, also from Farnborough, said “They’ve been talking to us about behaviour and acting appropriately – things like teamwork, not using rude words and always trying our best. If I’m feeling stressed in future I will focus, listen and remember what they’ve been teaching us.”
Cole and Khalid were both recently selected to take part in Nottingham City school rugby trials and if successful will represent the county.
Steven Wildman, aged 12, from Rushcliffe School, who plays for Nottingham Moderns, loved the on field coaching: “It’s so much fun. It’s taught me lots about spatial awareness and running with the ball. It’s great being taught by real Tigers coaches.”