Ex England and Lions star Jason Leonard presented the RFU President’s XV Recognition Award for More Coaches to Ealing Rugby Club during the club’s end-of-season celebrations on Sunday, 3 May.
As well as presenting the award on behalf of the RFU, Leonard played a full part in the celebrations – signing shirts and balls, and posing for photos with players from the rugby rats (Under 5s) through to Under 12s.
The award recognised the club’s ’Coaching Pathway’ coach development program, led by Nick Lambert, that aims to fill the skills-gaps by capturing the wealth of knowledge held within the club’s existing coaching community and utilising such to develop the confidence, ability and skills of newer coaches. The Pathway consists of a series of levels, akin to Judo ‘belts’, with each level comprising a number of coaching modules as well as refereeing and child protection components.
The Pathway delivers sessions that add value for all attendees in an informal and enjoyable format scheduled to dovetail with crowded diaries. To this end, coaches may enter the program at any level and attend any of the sessions irrespective of their experience. Lambert said: “We are extremely pleased with the tangible improvements in coaching that the Pathway has already delivered.
“The Pathway has played a part in preparing those candidates who put themselves forward for formal RFU assessment with 20 coaches achieving RFU Level 1 or Level 2 status since the Pathway’s inauguration.
“We cannot afford to stand still though… we are already making extensive use of the RFU’s Rugby Ready session to motivate and encourage new coaches to join the 150+ existing coaching volunteers at the club and we are looking forward to the release of the next generation of RFU CPD modules and building these into the Pathway, to ensure that Ealing stays ahead of the ‘Coach Ed’ curve and is well prepared for the anticipated roll-out of Coach Licensing.”
Ealing’s Coaching Pathway will be highlighted as a Case Study of best practice in the RFU’s Touchline magazine.
The award is Ealing’s second in two years after winning the More Referees category in 2008