Wayne Mitchell (Leinster Rugby Development Officer – North East) recently delivered a seven week hands-on coaching programme with 40 first year students from Dundalk Institute of Technology (DKIT)…

All the students completed the IRFU Mini Coaching Course over four weeks and were given more information over Tag rugby through practical sessions. On the seventh week the students had to run a local school Tag blitz.

Over the course of the programme there were special tutors in that help develop the students, notably Derek Maybury (Leinster Rugby Development Officer – Midlands) and Eoin Hogan (Irish Colleges Rugby Development Officer).

Ten local 5th and 6th class Girls teams participated in the blitz: Bellurgan NS, CBS, Dun Dealgan NS, Friary NS (two teams), Kilsaran NS (two teams), St Oliver’s NS, St Joseph’s NS and St Peter’s NS.

Each student had to play a part on the day. Two students were designated to go with a team and coach and prepare them for the matches. The other students had to referee or do touch judge for the day, while two students also coordinated the two pitches and made sure the teams were ready for the next matches.

Elvery’s Sports kindly sponsored a €;150 voucher which was meant to be awarded to the team that was the fairest, but because all teams that participated played their part on the day the voucher was given to Friary National School Dundalk by an open draw. The day was a huge success with every team playing four matches and each player going home with Leinster Rugby mementos.

A big thank you to Colin O’Hare (Dundalk Youth Development Officer), his team of assistants and also to David Cranny (DKIT) for setting up the opportunity for the students.

The programme was a great success and a good start for the first year and hopefully this can develop and grow and we might see some new coaches develop for the future.