Community Coaches praise the impact of Foundation’s Coach Education programme

Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Coach Education programme is crucial to supporting the growth and development of Rugby League in the city according to community coaches attending the latest RFL Level 2 course delivered by the charity.

Run as part of the Rugby League Development Plan for members of its Club Ambassador scheme, Leeds Rhinos Foundation offers a range of courses in partnership with the RFL to help upskill and equip community coaches around Leeds.

Throughout the 2019 season, Leeds Rhinos Foundation has helped more than 140 coaches of all age groups and backgrounds to benefit from unique coaching insight and gain vital qualifications to progress within the community game.

Thomas Staniland, Head Coach of Farnley Falcons U13s, is one of the many coaches who has benefitted from the Coach Education programme and spoke during last week’s RFL Level 2 course at Emerald Headingley Stadium about the role it has played- not only in his personal development as a coach, but in improving his club too.

“From playing, you tend to copy things from how you’ve been coached, but these courses take things back to basic and give you a different style on how to coach,” said Staniland.

“It’s great that through the Ambassador scheme we have first opportunity to book the courses. It’s local so it saves me having to travel on a weeknight and I don’t have to give up lots of coaching on a weekend to attend, which is obviously a bonus for us.

“It’s an important refreshment of your knowledge and shows you different ways to manage your team and get the best out of your players, which can be quite a challenge especially when you’re starting out in the game.”

“Hopefully I can take what I’ve learnt here by doing the Level 2 course with Leeds Rhinos Foundation and put that back into my community club to help improve playing standards amongst the kids and other coaches that I work with.”

The Coach Education programme has been a staple of the Foundation’s work since its launch back in 2013, and with some exciting developments on the horizon, Community Clubs Development Officer Sam Horner believes that it can have an even greater impact in the future.

He said, “We’ve got delivery of three more Level 1 and Level 2 course planned before next Autumn, but it’s a wider range of activity than just coaching qualifications. It’s also about ensuring that we increase the longevity of our teaching by providing that post-qualification support back at their clubs through our Rugby League Development Officers.”

“There is a holistic approach to our entire Coach Education programme, meaning it’s not just the qualifications but also looking at things such as re-launching Rhinos RAMPAGE and introducing memberships for them.

“In 2020, we plan to increase our delivery to roll out coaching programmes for every school and community club that we work with, so watch this space!”

For more information about Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Coach Education programme, please contact