Westy’s Blog II

[Part 2 – August 2019]

Hello, for those of you that don’t know me, I am Michael Weston and I am the Youth/Schools Development Officer for Harlow Rugby Club.

Since the last Blog a lot more amazing things have happened in the Youth/Schools Development Programme.

For a catch up please follow this link http://harlowrugby.club/westys-blog/

The aim of this year’s HRUFC Youth/Schools Development Programme was to continue to encourage young people to get involved with the sport of rugby, fostering participation and enjoyment.

Our mission is to act according to our core values by continuing to form a strong bond between Harlow Rugby Club and young people getting involved in the sport, promoting progression through the club and instilling in them the key values of the sport: teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline, and sportsmanship.

The programme has been hugely successful and it hasn’t gone unnoticed: the RFU have now decided to back Harlow rugby to grow the programme even further by helping Harlow Rugby Club implement the ‘all schools programme in Harlow’


This means the RFU will supply a large grant to help fund and grow the Harlow schools programme. It will allow more lessons, more tournaments, more after school clubs and inter-school games. The programme will also allow us to fund the upskilling of teachers in secondary schools through qualifications, improving both the quality and the amount of rugby taught in schools. It will allow the programme to host larger tournaments and provide more equipment to the schools, as well as playing kit. We will also get more qualified referees in the Harlow area giving kids the opportunity to gain their level 1 referee qualification.

We really believe this additional funding will push the programme into the next level, getting more and more young people to fall in love with this wonderful game and join the thriving Harlow rugby’s youth and mini systems.

We wouldn’t have been able to get into this position without the kind support of our sponsors:

Benbrook Windows and ARG Group.








Thank you again for allowing us to grow the programme.

Our Focus

This season we spent a lot of focus again on secondary school rugby. We continued to deliver 12 hours a week of rugby coaching across secondary schools in Harlow. We successfully hosted 16 (five being primary school, 11 being secondary) tournaments at the rugby club this season – an increase of four more than last season. With the additional funding we are looking to double this target for this year.

We have already seen the effect of this outreach as the number of students attending after-school rugby coaching has risen from 230 students across Harlow last year to 280 students by September this year. We managed to host six schools fixtures – four more than last season. Our aim is to continue to grow. With the additional growth of the programme we have a target of 500 students in Harlow, which is an ambition we feel highly optimistic about reaching.

Girls rugby

Another major focus for the schools programme has been to significantly increase female participation in the schools.

We managed to double our hours completed in school and the aim this season is to double that again.


Harlow rugby have continued to try and grow through outreach in the community. We held a stall at 10 school summer fetes as well as featuring on a float at the Harlow Carnival.

Harlow Rugby Club will also continue its partnership with the Changing Lives project, an incredible scheme which seeks to prevent children falling prey to gangs and getting involved with gang violence by engaging them in sports and exercise and teaching them the core values of rugby. Our involvement with Changing Lives has featured in a number of news outlets, including BBC Look East

Meet the Coaches

All this fantastic work wouldn’t be achievable without the great work from our School Development coaches. Here we would like to tell you a little more about them:


Name: Matt

Favourite rugby team: Leicester Tigers

Position played/plays: Scrum half

Favourite thing about coaching rugby: Watching kids find enthusiasm and enjoyment of the game.

Rugby philosophy: “Let players play. Mistakes lead to growth”

How you have found working in the schools programme? Challenging, enjoyable and rewarding

What are your aims for the future? To keep improving my coaching skills.

What’s been the best thing you have achieved this year as a coach? Being able to get kids with no rugby experience playing the game and enjoying it.




Name: Katie Boggas

Favourite rugby team: Saracens

Positions played/plays: Flyhalf or Fullback

Favourite thing about coaching rugby: I love spreading my knowledge of rugby onto the younger generation and it’s great to see the children take to rugby so well

Rugby philosophy: My rugby philosophy is to pass my knowledge of rugby onto the children through the process of having fun and playing games. Having fun during rugby is the best way to learn new skills.

How have you found working in the schools programme? I am new this year to working in the schools program. So far I have found it very enjoyable and intriguing. You get to see so many different characteristics within each student and it’s interesting to see them enjoy rugby so much in their own individual ways

What are your aims for the future? For the future I am currently taking a sports massage course, so I aim to progress with this. I also aim to progress with my coaching and trying to increase girl’s rugby participation at Harlow Rugby Club.

What’s the best thing you have achieved this year as a coach? The best thing I have achieved this year as a coach is seeing the progress the children have made during each lesson, as well as seeing that the number of girls participating in rugby at Harlow rugby club has increased since I have started coaching. I feel incredibly proud of these achievements.







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