Last summer a series of videos were produced to support the launch of the Age Grade Rugby Codes of Practice. At the same time, different coaches talked about why they felt the Codes of Practice were important as well as what it was about some of the codes that they felt was especially important.

In Video 1, Patrick Jerram, Director of Sport at Bedford Modern School talks about how the Codes of Practice set out the philosophy behind inclusivity, being player-centred and enjoyment. No matter how long you’ve been a coach, the codes make you step back a bit and in a positive way question what you do and why you do it.

For Patrick the first two codes are the most important – Developing the Whole Player, both on an off the pitch, and Adopt a Player-Centred Approach. If you can get the second one right, there’s a good chance of success, whether that’s helping players to have a life-long love of the game or encouraging them to staying the game and play with their peers and friends.

If you are a coach or teacher who works with young players, these are important messages from a very respected and experienced coach.

In Video 2, Walcot RFC coach, Rob Honeyman explains the many benefits of having adopted Age Grade Rugby over five years ago.

By always being focussed on the needs of the child they get better results. It means a willingness to see the potential in young players and the patience to see it come to fruition in the future.

If kids always want to win then it’s up to the coaches to have a development focus. Not to worry about the results but whether their players are going to still want to be a part of the game as they grow-up, still want to be with the club and be the best player they can.

In Video 3, it is clear to see that Tynedale RFC coach, Nick Oliver, is hugely supportive of Age Grade Rugby and the Codes of Practice. He’s right to be because the coaches and players at Tynedale all enjoy the benefits of the AGR approach.

At Tynedale the emphasis is on fun with no kids standing around and doing drills but getting out there and playing games with the ball in hand. And there’s no streaming. Instead the intent is to give players as much equal game time as possible. Perhaps that’s why Tynedale has almost 400 kids playing rugby from 5 to 18?

For Nick, AGR is about developing players, giving them as varied an experience as possible and working to keep them involved for years to com

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