A week in the life of ……. Tony Aubrey – Leeds Rhinos Primary School Development Officer.

I am the Leeds Rhinos Primary Schools Development Officer. I am in charge of delivering coaching sessions in primary schools.

The programme involves a 4 week coaching block and rugby festival as well as an assembly based on either ‘Creating a Winning Team’ or ‘Healthy Lifestyles’ alongside my good friend ‘Ronnie the Rhino’. I also co-ordinate the 14+ touch rugby programme that takes place every Tuesday evening at Abbey Fields, Kirkstall, Leeds.

The coaching programme gives the opportunity for children to learn the fundamentals of how to play rugby. At the end of the 4 weeks the primary schools are then invited to play in a festival against fellow schools at an amateur club setting. This is a great way to see the students showcase the skills they have learnt and also for them to further their interest in rugby at a local amateur club.

The touch rugby programme is into its fourth week down at Abbey Fields. If you are interested in joining the programme, all you need to do is turn up on the evening and register. The programme runs every Tuesday evening throughout the summer at Abbey Fields at 7:00pm.
Turn up & play £3.00 per person
All players must be 14 and above

For more information, Contact Tony Aubrey on: 07803084956
Email: tony.aubery@leedsrugbyfoundation.org

Monday started off very well, the weather was perfect as me and Jonny Wainhouse headed to Bramley St Peters to deliver a ‘Creating a Winning Team’ assembly. As always the assembly went down extremely well with both the staff and the children and we even had some fun too. I thought ‘Ronnie the Rhino’ put in a superb performance and left a lasting impression in the school. After the assembly I returned to the office to catch up with some emails and paperwork. I then headed to Templenewsam Halton primary school for two consecutive coaching sessions. The sessions went well however the weather wasn’t very kind to us and we had to put up with it up and endure the showers. Some of the skills on show were still very impressive considering the wet conditions. So overall I was very pleased with their efforts. What was pleasing was that many of the children played in the schools’ after school rugby team which shows what a fantastic job the teachers are doing with them.

Tuesday started off in the office preparing the paper work for the evenings Tuesday Touch rugby. I had a bit of a nightmare sorting out the register from the previous week as it was not completed from the week before. I can assure this was not my error!!! Or that of my colleagues… I then spent several hours getting worked up over this and was very frustrated haha. After this I headed to Stanningley to help out Madeleine Hegarty set up for the Cully 7’s rugby tournament for the primary schools. Madeleine recently had an operation on her foot so I helped cone out the pitches and organise some of the teams. I didn’t have much to do to be honest as Madeleine was so organised as always and the event ran so smoothly. It was nice to see so many of the schools there that I have previously coached in.

After all the paper work was sorted, I headed to Abbey Field for another successful evening of touch rugby. Again for the third consecutive week, the touch rugby was played in beautiful weather conditions. The night was quite competitive as always and every game was played in great spirit as always. The winners on the night were the Amicable Owls. There were 42 players that attended on the night in what was another great evening of touch rugby.

Wednesday started early at Micklefield primary school for a coaching session. Lovely little school and I was made to feel very welcome. I had a smaller class than usual however they were fantastic and very enthusiastic. It was a nice start to the day. After Micklefied I headed to Cross Gates primary school to deliver another coaching session. Again I got a great response from the children however many of them were loyal Castleford Tigers supporters and there was no persuading them. There were however some very keen rugby players and as a group they were a very sporty class. I was very impressed with the standard. I think the class teacher is doing a superb job with them and she had them well disciplined, they were too quiet for my liking, but that soon changed…

I started my Thursday off by quickly dashing to Headingley Carnegie Stadium to pick up the camp fliers and ‘Ronnie’ tickets for the schools. I then headed to Swillington primary school for a session. All did not start well as I arrived at the school to find it all boarded up and closed down. I contacted the school and nobody answered. I began to get a little worried. When I asked a pedestrian walking by, he stated that the new school is around the back somewhere and was hard to access by car. He wasn’t JOKING. 15 minutes later, I finally got into the school on foot. It was worth finding, the school was lovely and brand new. Apparently they had only been in their new school a week. The new school field wasn’t quite ready so we got to use the fantastic new hall facilities and we created some noise too. The cheering sounded great to me in the new hall but apparently it echoed through the whole school disrupting all the other classes who were working silently. Ooops, sorry about that Swillington. After Swillington I headed for some well-earned dinner. After my feast I found myself at Strawberry Fields primary school. Again, a great school with super new facilities. The sun was shining and we were out on the field lapping up the sunshine. This was probably my most enjoyable session of the week. The kids were very excited and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. I even got offered some cake from the class teacher…… It was rude to turn it down…. Also I was informed that next week their having a party. I think I will be joining them for that. Who knows I may even get another slice of cake.

Friday started off nicely but that soon changed when the heavens opened at Whitkirk primary school. We started the first session outside but soon ended up in the hall when the rain got heavier. I also made a schoolboy error and forgot my coat. BIG MISTAKE!!!!!! The weather then turned out nice again and for the second session we went back outside. Both classes were very enthusiastic and put in a lot of effort. Just as we got going and stated having some fun, the heavens opened again and I got wet for the next 25 minutes. Oh well never mind I have learnt my lesson now…..