Friday 23 August 2019

Ambassador programme a major boost for clubs

Club news

Brian Harte, Rory Harte and Johnny Feeney from Galway Bay RFC at the Worcester clash. Photo: INPHO
Brian Harte, Rory Harte and Johnny Feeney from Galway Bay RFC at the Worcester clash. Photo: INPHO

Connacht Rugby launched a club ambassador programme last month as two representatives from each of the 27 clubs in Connacht were invited to the clash with the Worcester Warriors game and met some of the players before enjoying the province's first home European fixture of the season.

The ambassador programme involves at least two professional players being designated to each of the 27 clubs throughout the province for the 2017/18 season.

Each ambassador will visit their club for a range of specialist coaching sessions and seminars throughout the season depending on the needs of each individual club.

Players have been assigned to clubs taking into account previous playing or coaching experience.

Commenting on the launch, Joe Gorham, head of club and community at Connacht Rugby, said, "We are delighted to begin this exciting new initiative. The core purpose of our Grassroots to Green Shirts vision is to inspire the community through rugby success. This initiative will strengthen the link between the individual clubs and the professional players.

"Clubs will have the opportunity to lean on the professional experience of players and the programme is a great opportunity for professional player development. Community is central to everything we do in Connacht and this programme is further example of that."

Tucker's Ballinasloe event gets positive feedback

Last Wednesday evening saw a fantastic team of coaches make their way to Ballinasloe RFC for the latest in a series of workshops across the province.

The numbers attending recent workshops has been impressive and Wednesday night was no different with 30 coaches from Ballinasloe, Buccaneers, Creggs, Monivea, Loughrea, Galwegians, Gort and Corinthians all in attendance.

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Colm Tucker, Provincial Talent Coach and Ireland U18 Assistant Coach, was on hand to deliver some great insight into both scrum and lineout.

Colm worked with the Ballinasloe U- 16 team on the night, covering effective body shape and functional roles in both the scrum and lineout as well as helping the lads build on their scrum and lineout.

Massive thanks goes to Ballinasloe RFC and their U-16 coaches for having the players available on the night as well as the travelling coaches for making the night a success.

East Connacht Coach Development Officer Conor Galvin commented: "It is great to be able to call on Colm for events like this, he has so much experience especially in these areas and we received fantastic feedback about the night. Ballinasloe once again were excellent hosts and the players were a massive help - hopefully they picked up a few tips that they will bring to their own game."

Awards fun for U-18 girls

The Connacht U-18 Girls Awards took place last month with each player receiving a pendant as a cap before attending the Connacht v Worcester Warriors game.

Connacht senior player Ruth O'Reilly was on hand to present the players with their awards.

The team then ate together before walking to the Sportsground and parents who helped out the coaching team also received a match ticket.

Team manager Paula Kelly said: "It was a lovely way to end the season together and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it - they will all be killing each other in club rugby next weekend!"

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