I started Monday morning with a bang in front of over 200 very excited Children! Otley All Saints Primary School was rewarded for been part of the Leeds Rhinos School Ambassadors Scheme with a ‘Creating Winning Team Assembly’. The scheme has been created to reward schools who benefit/encouraging rugby league in their school. For more information on this scheme please contact Sian Hills firstname.lastname@example.org
The Creating a Winning Team Assembly is a fantastic, very engaging assembly that echo’s the good message of schools creating a winning team in the classroom. The assembly involves everyone’s close friend Ronnie Rhino and the Stobart Super League Trophy. The young children were so well behaved and certainly seemed to enjoy themselves. The children really were a credit to themselves and the school.
After this it was back to Kirkstall to the Leeds Rugby Academy where the Leeds Rugby Foundation is based for a much needed meeting with Leeds Rhinos Head of Athletic Performance, Jason Davidson. Myself and Jason meet regularly to finalize the hundreds of player requests we receive each week. We go out of our way to accommodate as many as possible but playing and training commitments can affect this.
In the afternoon I was in the office catching up on my emails before my planned meeting with Lee Parkin from John Smeaton High School and Leeds Service Area Co-ordinator Leon Crick. The meeting was to go over the up and coming Smeaton Sixes Teacher Touch Rugby Competition, which is in its second year and involves teachers across the city. Lee has been the driving force behind this project with the Leeds Rugby Foundation supporting the event. The attendance is looking very healthy again this year which is so pleasing.
Then I had to bolt to Headingley Carnegie Stadium it was match day on a Monday!!! I had to prepare our 20’s squad who had a fixture against St Helens, which was the curtain raiser before the main event. We became eventual winners with Stevie Ward scoring the pick of the try’s.
Once I had finished with my commitments with our 20’s I was back on board with the community team to support our half time programme, which Sam Horner runs so smoothly. I think it is fantastic that so many youngest get the chance to play on Headingley’s hallowed turf in front of a fantastic Monday night crowd.
Disappointingly the night did not finish in the most positive fashion as St Helen won the main game of the evening but my night was not over there! I then had to put my Simon Cowell pants on and head to the Long bar and present and interview Brian McDermott and the Man of the Match, Ryan Bailey.
As you can imagine when on the back of a defeat to stand up in a front of 300/400 disappointed fans can not be easy but Brian and Ryan did not shake the responsibility and did what was required in an honorable fashion.
Then it was home for some much needed sleep after one long day…zzzzz
Tuesday was an early start for a day in the sun at the Year 5/6 Leeds Schools Generic Tag Tournament at the John Charles Centre for Sport. This was an example of partnerships coming together to benefit the Leeds Community. The Leeds Rugby Foundation, Hunslet Hawks, RFU, RFL and the Leeds City Council all supported this event to give the students a day to remember. A great day of rugby was played in the hot sunshine which allowed free flowing games from 20 different school teams. The event was won by Weetwood Primary School.
Keith Senior and good old Ronnie Rhino were special guests and presented medals at the end of the event which was a nice touch to finish a very successful day for everyone involved.
Then it was back to the office to create some memos for a few player appearances that were due. Then it was home to spend some much needed time with my young family.
In the morning I spent time in the office catching up on emails and putting together the finishing touches to the organization of the up and coming Leeds & Hunslet Finals.
I also caught up with Rob Burrow who was visiting Oulton Raiders that same evening to promote his up and coming two day camp which is in the June Half Term (next week!). We just needed to discuss the finer details of the night that Sam Horner was leading on and the layout of his camp. Rob is as a keen coach as he is player and can’t wait to spend some time with the youngsters and pass on a few tips. For more information click on the link http://www.leedsrugbyfoundation.org/news/19398.php
In the afternoon I also had to shoot over to Oulton Raiders who were hosting the national competition, the Carnegie Champion Schools semi-final between Leeds school, Temple Moor and Wakefield school, Freeston, Year 9 teams. Temple Moor is a team I have monitored for many years and are team close to my heart. There is a super work ethic within the squad and after yet again another strong performance reached the Carnegie Champion Schools Final. This is the 3rd year on the trot that Temple Moor has achieved this but I am confident they will not fail at the final hurdle this time round.
At the same venue Tony Aubrey our Primary School Development Office was hosting a Primary Schools Tag Tournament. It was fantastic to see local primary schools participating in the game we love at an amateur club venue. I was keen to see this fantastic event that both Tony and Madeleine Heggarty needed the credit for, as they have both organized and delivered this programme to benefit the local community.
After these events it was back to kirkstall for me to host the Year 9 Leeds & Hunslet Schools Final between Bruncliffe and John Smeaton. The game was the first final to be played on the Archie Gordan 3G Pitch. To be able to play this occasion on this pitch was a special moment for the children involved as none of the players involved have played on an artificial pitch before. Bruntcliffe walked away with silverware.
Once the final had taken place I had a catch up with Leeds Rhinos 20’s Head Coach Chris Plume before our training session. The training session consisted of a review after our epic home victory against St Helens, conditioning and a field session.
I was back in the office for the most of the day which I seriously needed. I was putting plans in place for upcoming various projects.
I had a brief meeting planned with Danny McGuire to discuss and stamp down a few dates for him to visit local amateur clubs that he is holding his camps at over the summer holidays. Danny is as keen as Rob to pass on his knowledge to the next generation. For more information click on the link http://camps.leedsrugbyfoundation.org/
In the afternoon I put the finishing touches to the Year 7 and Year 11 Leeds & Hunslet Schools Final which we hosted at Headingley Carnegie Stadium. This is an amazing opportunity that youngsters are given the chance to play at the stadium. It is a great concept that the Year 7’s who have just started their school rugby career and for the student in Year 11 who will play their last school rugby match to play on the amazing pitch.
The players involved should all feel immensely proud of themselves with the manner of how they represented their school on the pitch. Year 7 Corpus Christi beat Garforth and Year 11 Bruntcliffe beat Lawnswood.
I spent the morning at home with my darling daughter, Chloe, answering emails and making phone calls all at the same time! Who said men can’t multi task!!
In the afternoon I had productive meeting with staff members from Radio Aire, Yorkshire Cricket and Emmerdale to discuss the this year’s Children’s Day that will take place on Sunday 22nd July. I am extremely impressed with the organization of this event with grand finale of the day been a touch and pass match. A select Leeds Rhinos team Captained by Danny McGuire! will play against the Emmerdale cast! that will be captained by Rob Burrow! This is fantastic fun filled family day; watch this space for further information.
An early start for me as myself and Chris Plume meet up early for planning before our 20’s training. The training consisted of conditioning in the gym followed by a field session. The field session was games related and far more relaxed than our normal sessions.
The players require this from time to time, instead of the high intensity that is expected of these young players week in week out. We have not got a game for a few weeks so this was well timed.
This was the end of one busy week but one with fond memories, over and out….