Sixteen teachers from Warminster Primary schools took part in a hands on teacher training session at Warminster RFC with community coaches from Bath Rugby as part of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme in the hope that core rugby skills will be transferred to the local schools and eventually unearth the next generation of English talent.
In its second season, the Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme represents a significant investment (£2 million) by Aviva into the grass roots level of the game. Resources will go towards supporting over 1,200 teachers in 650 schools across the country whilst also providing all the kit necessary to play tag rugby.
Aligned to the national curriculum and PE syllabus, the Teacher Education Programme specifically focuses on giving teachers the tools they need to develop the basics of rugby within local schools. The two hour course for two members of staff per participating school includes a number of practical based activities, including handling drills, small sided games, refereeing and tag rugby rules of play. Each participating school will also be provided with a tag resource booklet along with balls and tag sets.
Steve Middleton, Community Rugby Manager said: "There's no doubt that some of the most famous sporting careers have been kick-started by an inspirational teacher or coach. If we can provide teachers with the core skills to coach rugby in schools then we'll have more youngsters playing the game and that can only be good for rugby. That's what the Aviva Premiership Rugby Schools Programme is all about – reaching a broader audience."
Lucy Walker, teacher at Sutton Veny Primary School said: "I think the majority of teachers are sometimes quite nervous about coaching a sport, especially when they've had no previous training. Having community coaches from Bath Rugby explain and demonstrate the core skills of rugby have really helped and I think tag rugby is a fantastic game for young kids and can play a vital role in their development."
Louisa Cheetham, Senior Sponsorship Manager at Aviva, said: "The programme highlights our commitment of working with Premiership Rugby to grow participation in the sport. We want to take a leading role in helping develop and inspire the next generation of rugby players and hopefully unearth young England stars of the future along the way. The programme essentially delivers real benefit to communities through rugby and helps towards the creation of a sustainable legacy for the sport."