Written by Course Attendee and Veteran, Ross Baker
Supporting the ongoing development of Rugby for Heroes’ ever-growing group of veteran Level 2 coaches – and in a first for the charity – a 14-strong team of coaches came together over three days in November for the inaugural Rugby for Heroes CPD.
The group gathered on a Sunday at what is now becoming the spiritual home of Rugby for Heroes – the Hatton Court Hotel in Gloucester. Made up of coaches from a number of courses that have been run by the charity, it took just minutes for the Rugby for Heroes family to ignite and the camaraderie to come to the fore.
The standard RFU CPD requires the delivery of a three-hour course on a set syllabus drawing out coaching and playing experiences. As with everything the charity undertakes, nothing is done as standard. The defence CPD was delivered with aplomb by ex-Springbok Thinus Delport, giving words of wisdom and pieces of coaching gold that can only be gained from playing at the top level.
If receiving a CPD from an ex-international player wasn’t impressive enough, the group were then taken to Hartpury College to deliver a rugby coaching session overseen by their highly qualified coaching team.
Day two began with the ruck and maul CPD delivered again by Thinus in the morning, followed by a return to Hartpury College; only this time it was the Gloucester Rugby Head Coach Johan Ackermann delivering a talk on his coaching principals to the group. After 30 minutes of giving his take on coaching, the group were then invited to watch the coaches and players preparing for their upcoming fixture against Newcastle Falcons.
As with the Transition Through Rugby coaching course delivered by Rugby for Heroes, the CPD was not simply about the rugby. The evenings were spent socialising and reinforcing the ‘Rugby for Heroes Family’ that the charity is so rightly proud of.
Stories were shared, and guidance given – not only on rugby coaching lessons, but more importantly on the challenges faced in transitioning from the military to civilian workplace. We were lucky to have external recruitment experts join us and give one on one CV guidance, as well as interview coaching.
A great three days was had by all in the company of fellow Rugby for Heroes coaches and ambassadors. We were privileged to coach some quality youth players, as well as watch the professionals in action. The CPD reinforced the unique nature of the Rugby for Heroes charity and its investiture in the coaches and their transition.