Six local primary schools have each been receiving 12 weeks of high quality rugby coaching from local company, The Performance Sports Group as part of the national Player Reach Out Programme (PROP).
Coaching is being delivered by a team of local qualified rugby coaches headed up by Chris Ellison to Year 1 and Year 2 children at Nettlebed, Shiplake, Valley Road, Sacred Heart, Badgemore and Trinity Schools.
The schools were invited to take part in two tag rugby festivals on Tuesday 21 and Tuesday 28 November at Henley Rugby Club. Chris Ellison, Head Coach of Performance Sports said, “The objective of each of these festivals were to invite children, parents and staff to come and enjoy the wonderful facilities on offer at the rugby club. We delivered a programme of further skills development, “coached” matches and a small sided competition. Scores were taken but there was no overall winner as such. Success was determined by all the children having a great time, taking part with their school mates and playing with children from other schools.”
Funding for the programme is being provided by Henley RFC, local business sponsors including Crest Nicholson, each schools Sports Premium funding and The Performance Sports Group.
The programme has given an introduction to tag rugby in primary schools that may not have normally taken place, “Instilling a love for the game in young people which as a club Henley RFC can provide an exit pathway. Plus, establishing Henley RFC as the community rugby club of choice amongst local schools, parents and children,” added Chris.
Tom Haynes from Henley RFC is also delivering the programme at Gillotts School for boys and girls in Year 7 and above.
Chris concluded by saying, “We wanted to create a real community programme for the local schools and children in partnership with the rugby club and its supporters. Following the delivery of these two festivals I think all would agree this has been a great success. Thanks go to our local sponsors Crest Nicholson, Henley RFC, mini and juniors sections and all the schools for their efforts in bringing together a wonderful community event.”