- Teesdale School team up with Barnard Castle RUFC
- Head of PE at Teesdale Jean Brennan praises partnership
Photo: RFU Archive
Rugby union at Teesdale School has been given a boost thanks to a partnership with the RFU which has created opportunities for boys and girls to play rugby at school and in the local community at Barnard Castle RUFC.
Teesdale students have been given new playing kit and rugby equipment and have benefited from the coaching expertise of RFU Rugby Development Officer Matt Bryan and RFU Community Rugby Coach Tamara Taylor.
The RFU believes rugby is a sport for everyone, of all ages, shapes and sizes. An annual investment of £3.5million is made by the RFU to support the development and delivery of the game in schools, colleges and universities and a network of RFU community coaches is working hard to give more young people across the country the chance to play rugby in secondary schools.
Teesdale School years 7 – 11 and Staindrop School are two schools in County Durham benefiting from the link with Barnard Castle RUFC who offer coaching and refereeing sessions to the students.
Head of PE at Teesdale, Jean Brennan, said: “In the short space of time that this partnership has been in action, there has been a noticeable increase in the amount of pupils at Teesdale School who are getting involved in after-school rugby clubs and fixtures. Hopefully, this effect has also filtered into local rugby clubs.
“The matches have inspired several students to join the local club. Barnard Castle RUFC have given generously of their time to ensure our students get the best possible experience. The relationship we have developed with the club will be invaluable in the future and we would like to thank them for their help.”
Following the initial success of the boys’ teams, there was an ambition to establish girls’ rugby at Teesdale School and an exciting playing opportunity is now being offered to girls.
To inspire girls to become involved, RFU Community Coach Tamara Taylor, an England international who plays her club rugby locally for Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, has been leading coaching sessions for girls aged 11 to 15 years old on a Tuesday evening after-school.
Brennan is encouraged by the response: “The sessions have been running throughout December, with on-going discussions to continue them into the New Year. There has been a lot of interest so far and a number of girls have attended practices thanks to continued support by the P.E. department and, without doubt, due to the fantastic opportunity to be coached by a player at the top of her game.”
RFU Rugby Development Officer Matthew Bryan said: “We are delighted to have been able to support Teesdale School through providing equipment and coaching. It has been fantastic to see the students getting so much enjoyment out of playing rugby and we look forward to helping them develop their skills and also to expanding the game in secondary schools across the country.”