Due to the reduction of on-the-ground manpower resources changes recently implemented by the RFU and the reduction of staffing levels at Twickenham, a re-think of how we utilise local resources has been undertaken.
Redundancies have seen Berkshire lose 1 CRC – Russell Bolton has taken voluntary redundancy -therefore 50% of Berkshire's Community Rugby Coach workforce has been lost. We would like to thank Russ for his considerable contribution over the last few years.
The local RFU delivery team will no longer be focusing their delivery through schools. Their focus will be on our clubs - specifically developing & mentoring the club coaches and referees. At a recent Berkshire County RFU Clubs Meeting this was unaminously welcomed by the clubs and the county.
Nicola McCombe is the new CRC to the area with bags of experience and will work with Rhys Davies in implementing this strategy from their perspective.
It is very important that all the clubs and Berkshire RFU work in partnership with Rhys and Nicola to ensure the programme's success.
A key element in this process is that every club has a pro-active Club Coaching Co-ordinator (CCC) that both totally understand their own volunteer base, their qualifications and development requirements - and works with Rhys/Nicola and Berkshire RFU to achieve better coaches & referees to support the development of their club.
There was a workshop on the 27th September at Reading RFC. Area 2 expert Dave Larham attended to facilitate this meeting.
Berkshire County RFU's Training Chairman, Ian Hallam, heads up this area and the proposal is that the CB will additionally appoint a County Coaching Coordinator to support the whole process - working with the club CCCs and the local RFU team.
Berkshire RFU's Youth Chairman, Howard Thomas, is committed to assiting all clubs develop their coaches and a good way is for identified coaches to be invoived in the County Youth programme.
In a similar way, London Irish Academy/AASE programmes have an open door policy for club coaches to watch their delivery - both at Hazelwood and within Berkshire.
With regards to supporting schools, the All Schools programme in Berkshire has almost run its course and the only project currently is at Churchmead School in Datchet linked to Windsor RFC.
There has to be a role for London Irish Community Coaches to be approached to deliver rugby into schools that the clubs see as prime targets to link with - to encourage pupils to join their local rugby club.