Top coaches boost youngsters’ skills for tournaments

Rugby Tournament at CH Toby Phillips photo SUS-140704-153911001
Rugby Tournament at CH Toby Phillips photo SUS-140704-153911001

Coaching skills by top county coaches Andy Turner and Helen Windward were put into play at Christ’s Hospital’s fast paced Rugby and Netball Tournament on 25 February.

150 children aged 9 from across the county entered the Tournament which is now in its third year.

The coaching section was very well received by the players and coaching staff from the attending schools.

The rugby session, led by CH Director of Rugby, Andy Turner, took the boys through their paces, not just showing them new coaching drills but getting the boys to understand the game through the principles of play and in particular asking the boys to always focus on the question ‘How do we score?’

Helen Windward and CH Head of Netball, Hazel Rowland Jones, coached the girls hard on the netball courts, having devised a number of fun and challenging practices.

The children then put all they had learnt into practice when the tournaments began.

The rugby tournament saw some fine attacking play from all teams, and some resolute defensive work.

Out of the 10 matches played, two were drawn and four were decided by two tries or fewer. Aberdour were the deserved winners of the competition, winning all four of their matches.

However, only one point separated Copthorne Prep (2nd) from Bede’s Prep (3rd), 4th placed Oakwood were only one point behind Bede’s!

CH Director of Sport, David Messenger said: “I was most impressed with the determination and passion with which the boys played.

“To see the team in 4th place only concede two more tries than the eventual winners was indicative of the quality of rugby on show.”

The girls’ competition was very closely contested, and after the group matches Conifers, Copthorne, Oakwood and Aberdour A had made it through to the semi-finals.

Mrs. Rowland-Jones said: “It was an exciting and hard fought afternoon of netball, we saw lots of movement on court, some excellent shooting and some good hard accurate passing.”

Conifers and Oakwood won their semi-finals and competed in a tense but low scoring final.

The final saw the play switch quickly from end to end but as the final whistle blew the scores were level.

The team coaches and the umpires conferred and the unanimous decision was that the tournament should be awarded to Oakwood School as they had more attempts at goal.

Mrs Rowland-Jones added: “All the girls worked extremely hard and played the matches in good spirit.”

Pictures by Toby Phillips.