Alex, sidelined by injury, joined Yorkshire Carnegie hooker Harry Newborn, England Rugby Development Officer Andy Fradgley, Community Rugby Coach Carl Paterson, and Giggleswick PE teacher Ed Buck in the training day.
Youngsters from North Ribblesdale and Wharfedale clubs joined school teams from U12s to U18s for a five-station coaching carousel and worked on the RFU’s five CARDS principles: Creativity, Awareness, Resilience, Decision making, Self-organisation.
Giggleswick’s director of sport Dan Cook said: “The Giggleswick pupils, players and coaches from the local clubs had a fantastic time being trained by sportsmen from different professional backgrounds.
The two professional players concentrated on more intricate skills, while the other coaches looked at the game as a whole. It was a very enjoyable day.”
Alex rounded off his day as guest speaker at his old house, Morrison’s, formal dinner. He left Giggleswick in 2010 to join Yorkshire Carnegie academy, followed by a spell on loan at Wharfedale. He then joined Championship outfit Rotherham before making the move to Wasps in 2015.
Housemaster James Giles said: “Alex talked about playing hockey and football with his friends at school, recalling the pride it gave them, as well as his rugby. He also advised pupils to embrace Giggleswick’s music, drama and CCF opportunities to build skills and resilience. He delivered an important message about mental health, and told pupils to make sure they talk to people if they are feeling low: friends, teachers and parents, because they will all be there for them.”