About 50 eager parents and junior rugby players turned out to learn skills and drills as part of the CrestClean LeslieRugby Junior Rugby Coaching Programme in Kerikeri.
Held at the Kerikeri Domain on March 17, the session was one of 11 that have been held so far this month.
The programme is aimed at junior rugby coaches and/or parents who are interested in coaching the game in the future. It promotes fundamental skill development and makes it easier for junior team coaches to deliver a high value rugby practice. The programme also ensures players are given an enjoyable and beneficial experience. Coaches receive a pocket-sized Skills and Drills booklet that makes it easier for them to train teams.
During each session, which are run by former Highlanders and Scotland Captain John Leslie, a team of 12-year-olds demonstrate 14 core skills while he explains his coaching philosophies and tips for keeping the energy high and the game fun for kids.
Kerikeri Franchise owner Brian Moffat says it was a “short, sharp intense session that everyone got something out of”.
“It was very hands on. Parents were holding the tackle bags and they got involved. They were intent on listening to what John had to say,” he says. “It was fun.”
John Leslie says the sessions that have been held so far have been well received.
“They have gone really well. Often parents have come to drop their kids off but have ended up staying because they have found the content compelling and they’ve really enjoyed watching the coaching session,” he says. “There’s been a lot of positive feedback from parents.”