Thursday, 6th June 2019 @ 18:00
Harlequins Community Camps Co-Ordinator Rob Gould shares his advice on why kids should take up the sport with the Club
Though we’ve reached the end of both the Gallagher Premiership and Tyrrells Premier 15s seasons, the game of rugby doesn’t stop for the summer.
As well as major international events such England’s World Cup warm-up test matches, the game remains alive at grassroots level with Harlequins’ popular Community Rugby Camps taking place across the South East throughout July and August, in association with Persil – the Club’s official Community Partner.
In the run-up to the camps, Harlequins Community Camps Co-Ordinator Rob Gould lays out why he believes kids should embrace dirt and get involved in rugby and outlines what it takes to become a Harlequins Hero.
Rugby is a game for Everyone - all ages, all abilities, boys and girls
Despite its history, Camps Co-Ordinator Gould says that the sport is accessible to all: “Rugby is the most inclusive sport out there”, says Gould. “No matter who you are; where you’re from; whether your slow or fast; big or small; male or female - there is a place on the rugby field for you. It’s a sport where everyone has a role and a way of contributing to the team, and no position is more or less valuable than the other.
“At Quins, we are determined to grow the game at every possible level, both in terms of our elite structure and at grassroots. Come down to one of our camps, bring some of your mates and see if you’ve got what it takes to be the next Rachael Burford, Chris Robshaw, Jess Breach or Marcus Smith!”
Playing Rugby builds confidence in young people
The sports field can sometimes be seen as a slightly hostile or stressful environment but Gould believes that participating in rugby is a brilliant way to build up a young person’s character: “Due to rugby being a sport where everyone has a role, players are able to feel that they belong, and this allows them to develop into the best person that they can be. This is central to building confidence and can translate into their lives off the pitch”.
Rugby maintains a healthy mind
“When you step onto the field”, says Gould, “you have to be totally present and focussed on the task at hand, meaning that you have to leave all distractions at the changing room door. Not only does this allow you to become a better player, it also helps you gain perspective of what is happening around you, and that helps you develop as a person.”
Learning from mistakes is an essential part of the game
“In rugby”, says Gould, “you quite literally get knocked back, and often knocked down, on a regular basis. What does this teach you? It teaches you that no matter how many times you get pushed to the floor, you’ve got to get right back up, because your teammates and the people around you need you. It’s the same in life!”
Drills and Skills: practice makes perfect
Though to a casual onlooker the game may appear to be a bit brutish and rough, in reality, says Gould, it is one of the most skilful sports out there: “Rugby has several core skills that need to be mastered if you’re going to play at the level that our elite men’s and women’s teams do on a weekly basis, but for people new to the sport, its equally important. It’s all about practice and learning efficiently, and that’s something we emphasise at our community camps.”
The skills you learn on the pitch, translate to the classroom
“Getting involved in rugby and embracing the dirt this summer”, says Gould, “can positively impact your studies. Learning a new sport sharpens your concentration and your mental awareness, and this is key to getting better marks at school.”
R-E-S-P-E-C-T: it’s the name of the game
“Respect is fundamental to rugby, and this applies to the way you interact with teammates, coaches, referees and opponents”, says Gould. “Everyone should play the game as hard as they possibly can but after the final whistle is blown, you congratulate those around you for their endeavours and move on, no matter the result.”
Rugby IS safe
“Though rugby is an intense, physical sport”, says Gould, “at Harlequins we always make sure we teach children the game in the safest possible manner and that’s why all our coaches are at least RFU Level 2 qualified. Because of this safe and secure environment, the children get the most out of the drills and become the best players possible”.
Joining a Harlequins Community Camp gives you the chance to meet the Team
“On top of the fantastic experience of being on one of our camps” says Gould”, “all attendees will have the opportunity to come to a Harlequins men’s training session at The Stoop during the 2019/20 season, and be in with a chance of meeting one of their rugby heroes!”
Harlequins Community Camps are value for money
“This is more one for the parents”, says Gould, “but as prices for our camps start from a very reasonable £105 for three days, it’s the perfect way to keep your children engaged and entertained this summer and a great alternative to childcare!”
Join us this summer on one of our 32 Community Camps throughout the South East, including 2-day rugby camps, specialist skills camps or our residential week-long camp.
Click here to secure your place.
In the fourth week of pre-season, the players were split into groups of three for a tough challenge