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Teaching the Teachers

15th June 2004

A focus group consisting of 15 teachers descended on Cardiff Arms Park recently to discuss the Capital Rugby schools development programme, which is supported by Black Horse.

The day long session was organised by WRU District Director Jason Lewis in conjunction with John Huw Williams and part funded by Careers Wales to combine practical and theoretical activities.

“This is really a valuable opportunity for me and the Capital Rugby Scheme” said Jason Lewis.

“We are analysing an activity pack which we hope to develop and apply to rugby in the Cardiff region. So, in these sessions toady not only are the teachers, who are integral to the scheme’s success, involved in telling us what they like and don’t like about it, but how we are also able to evaluate the manner in which elements of the pack apply to Key stages 2 and 3 of the curriculum and how they can be implemented.”

After brief opening presentations, the primary school teachers, who were split into small groups to begin assessing the current programme, the activity pack and the future of the programme within a set time, had to report back with their recommendations.

During the afternoon the practical session on the Arms Park pitch began. Kevin O’Connor, a primary school teacher from Craig-Y-Parc a special education school, spoke to

“This is extremely interesting today, for me especially. Although many of the children at our school suffer from physical impairments, things such as cerebral palsy, hence they won’t be able to do all the running with the ball – there are elements of the pack that can be applied to maths and English units and form part of the curriculum. The best thing about this today is it is real; rugby is a real part of life and it’s important to use real, lifestyle subjects in teaching.”

Capital Rugby Development Officer, Gruff Rees, organised the afternoon practical session and explained the processes and reasoning behind the Capital Rugby coaching to the teachers as they completed the different techniques.

“You can see in just the small area of the pitch we are playing on, through these directional and non-directional activities, the programme is comprised of building blocks we use to assemble the skills and development for the children.”

Jason Lewis concluded that the day was a success. “Its been really good, I have learnt a lot, but we are just beginning this process. The Capital Rugby scheme has come along way from its early beginnings but I want to take it a lot further forward.”