Tuesday, 2nd August 2016 @ 07:30
Eleven Harlequins players visited East Palo Alto’s Rich May Field on Monday evening to deliver a community coaching session to over 50 local children.
The hour long session, delivered to players from varying backgrounds and ability, was led by senior squad members Mat Luamanu, Marland Yarde, Matt Shields, Winston Stanley, Joe Marchant, Kyle Sinckler, George Naoupu, Charlie Matthews, Tim Swiel, and Ross and James Chisholm.
Delivering the programmes to groups of children aged from U10s to U18 level, they focused on key areas including attacking and defending the breakdown, catching high balls, tackle technique and kicking.
The session took place on the Rich May Field, named in the memory of East Palo Alto Police Officer Rich May who was killed in the line of duty in 2006. The 3G surface provides young athletes of East Palo Alto the opportunity to practice and compete on a top class playing surface and facility.
Commenting on the evening, Harlequins and England winger, Yarde said: “We have loved being in the USA this week and it was great to be able reach out to the local community and deliver this coaching session.
“You can see how popular rugby is becoming in the USA and it was humbling to see the amount of American children who are engaged with Harlequins and the sport we love, the skill levels were pretty high too.
“Hopefully we were able to teach them something that they can bring back to their own clubs for the new season.
“Most importantly, we had just over 50 kids running around and enjoying themselves, that’s what rugby is all about at the end of the day.”
The evening was the first of a number of community events that Harlequins will be running this week in the San Francisco area. Harlequins Academy and Global Development Director Tony Diprose will be leading a Women’s Coaching session on Tuesday evening, before delivering a High School Youth Coaching session on Thursday.
Harlequins have linked up with Croydon-based school to deliver partnership that improves pupils on and off the field