Community Coach Educator Mark Butterill joined Leeds Rhinos first team assistant coaches Chev Walker and Richard Agar to host Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s latest Coach Education workshop.
Sixteen community rugby league coaches from Leeds Rhinos’ Ambassador clubs enjoyed the opportunity to observe a scholarship coaching session on offensive principles, delivered by the trio at Leeds Rugby Academy.
Butterill, who is also head coach for the Rhinos Academy u16s side, explained why he was keen to support the programme following his own experiences within the community game.
He said: “Being an ex-community coach myself, I always felt like there weren’t enough resources out there. So being lucky enough now to work as part of the performance team in the Rhinos Academy, I wanted to share some of the information I’ve learnt over the last couple of years.”
“Hopefully the coaches we support can pass on that information to their players, which obviously has a huge knock-on effect as it keeps players in the game by improving their performance and keeps coaches interested and feeling valued in their role.”
“We do some fantastic things as a club here, and I think this is just another 1% we can add to our portfolio in order to give back to our community clubs and make our links even stronger.”
The Coach Education workshops are part of Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Rugby League Development Plan, supported by MEARS, which aims to support the game at grassroots level through increasing participation and improving standards throughout the game.
Sam Horner, Community Clubs Development Officer at Leeds Rhinos Foundation, also believes the programme is important for the growth of the sport in the city.
“We’ve launched a new format for our Coach Education workshops this year and we’re lucky to have a fantastic set of performance coaches who allow this fantastic insight into how our professional club works and share good practice, in order to upskill the community coaches,” said Horner.
“Our coach education programme has recently become even more enhanced, with Mark Butterill, in his new role as Community Coach Educator, going into community clubs to provide one-on-one support and personal mentoring.
“The aim is to put back into the community game and make sure we are passing on our knowledge to improve standards, both in terms of the coaches who are learning new ideas and methods, but also the players who are coming through the clubs. The result of that can only be good for our game.”
For more information on Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Coach Education programme, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.