TWO players from Greyhound Rugby were given an insight into leading at the top level by England coaches Mike Catt and Graham Rowntree last month at TW1.
RFU level two coaches James Hybart and Owen Gittoes were among ten coaches selected to work with pair at a coaching clinic at Twickenham.
And both seized the opportunity to hone their skills and drills, and learn from the best.
“It’s been really inspiring to meet Mike and Graham today,” said Gittoes, who coaches at primary schools throughout Hereford and heads up the successful women’s team at Greyhound.
Rowntree, the Lions’ scrum guru, said: “It was great to meet James and Owen – they have all the attributes and passion to become fantastic coaches.”
While Gittoes began working on his coaching qualifications at while at St Mary’s RC High School, Hybart came in to it through a different route.
When he suffered a series of injuries playing for Greyhound, he threw himself into coaching.
He said “I saw coaching as the best way of staying in touch and giving back.
“Every player faces injury but I didn’t want to hinder my influence on the game.”
Hybart now coaches at Bromyard RFC, gaining experience while working alongside RFU Development officer Pat Hill who heads up the club’s coaching team.
Both coaches will go back to their clubs ahead of the new season with some fresh ideas and drills to integrate into their sessions.
Hybart said: “At the clinic they not only taught me some advanced drills and technical aspects to work on, but also hoe coaching is all about highlighting why we play, and supporting success.
“When you’re working with grassroots players it’s always about enthusiasm and what people get out of it off the pitch as well as on it.”
The clinic was held as part of the QBE Coaching Club, an initiative that aims to recruit 2,015 level two coaches by September 2015.
Catt said: “Coaching is crucial in developing, sustaining and increasing participation in rugby union.
“We need to make sure we have enough quality coaches like James and Owen to welcome new players to our local clubs and encourage them to keep coming back.”
If you’re interested in taking part and committing to community coaching beyond 2015, email QBECC@rfu.com.