OATLANDS COLLEGE has always been a traditional GAA stronghold enjoying a lot of success in winning Dublin Colleges at all ages with a Leinster Senior title.
However, things are slowly moving in another direction this year as rugby starts to slowly move up the ladder of extra-curricular activities. The school has a senior team (pictured) who participate in the South Dublin Development Cup.
Not only do they have the after school programme with their head coach and PE teacher Mark Bonfil, but with the help of Blackrock and Leinster CCRO Adam Griggs, they have now put in place an eight-week PE programme for rugby with second years and fifth years.
On the last week of this programme, students have to complete a coaching session of their own with the class to show what they have learned along the way and any tips they have picked up. Next year they hope to use this module in their first year classes as well.
Along with the senior college, Adam is also in Oatlands Primary School coaching TAG rugby with fifth and sixth class, meaning there is now a clear pathway of rugby leading into students' first year in the high school, where rugby will not be a foreign concept to them.
The plan is to have each year participate with the school programme eventually so that we can boost playing numbers and add more teams for the school that can enter into Leinster Rugby competitions, thus following on with more non-traditional rugby kids going into our club system.