Sarnia Saints Rugby is expanding their summer youth programs. The summer program is being headed up by Rhodri Holloway from Wales, UK who has been playing Rugby since the age of six.
"It's enjoyable, the Saints are always looking for foreign players to help coach." Holloway said "For someone like me this is perfect because I can get the experience I need because I'm going to be a teacher back home in sports and recreation. It's also perfect for me to gain experience in schools, high school and elementary"
Currently Holloway is involved with a pilot program with some Elementary schools in Lambton County. They are attending schools three times a week until the end of the school year. Their goal is to teach children the knowledge and understanding about the game.
"Feedback from the schools has been great." Holloway said
He's out to teach kids properly.
"It's better to teach them at a younger age." said Holloway "At home we started at 6 years old and my friends and I were the same size, but then the growths spurts happen and bodies changes. I am now playing against guys 20 and 30 years old and some are huge compared to me but my knowledge from being coached from an early age I basically know how to safely tackle someone without getting myself hurt in the process."
"My task this summer is an open page. Basically the guide is to do whatever I can going from U18 downwards. It's tough in Sarnia for Rugby because Rugby isn't a huge sport like soccer, hockey."
Several different programs for age groups for 9 - 18 year olds have been develop to increase the knowledge and understanding of rugby and to help prepare the players for school and club rugby.
"In Rugby we have set rules that in my opinion are a lot safer because you can't rough anybody or you get red card. In a tackle situation you have to wrap your arms around you can't close line someone or run and charge someone full on. It doesn't seem it when you watch the game but it's very controlled in sense of the rules and good coaching will lead to prevent injuries."
During the summer Sarnia Rugby will be holding several Youth Programs.
The Saints Skill School is for Boys and Girls between the ages of 9 to 14 and 15 to 18. The Saints Skill School is a three day skills camp with over 15 hours of high quality coaching to provide young children and teens with a fun and innovative introduction to rugby knowledge and understanding while developing the generic sports skills used in the game. Participants will also receive lessons on healthy eating and physical activity.
For Boys and Girls ages 15 - 16 the Saints will run a house league 7's program. This program focusing on modified 7-a side rugby games being played during training sessions. The Saints House League Rugby initiative will have weekly practice sessions and involve participants in games and activities aimed at developing core rugby skills for lifelong participation in the sport. Variations of Flag Rugby and Olympic Sevens will be featured. Participants will receive over 18 hours of coaching and games based sessions to ready their physical and mental attributes ready for participation in high school rugby.
The Saints Under 18 program for boys and girls ages 17 - 18 is the top end of the Junior Rugby spectrum. The Saints U18 program fosters a mix of hard work, fun, enthusiasm and professionalism on and off the field to focus on the advanced skill development and technique work to accomplish the transition of high school rugby players as well as newcomers into the surroundings of the club rugby environment. This program will run each Tuesday and Thursday from June 4 to August 26th at Norm Perry Park.
For more information, camp dates, costs and hot to register for each of the programs visit Sarnia Saints Junior Rugby or email Rhodriholloway@gmail.com