The first Coach Core programme run by the Welsh Rugby Union has just finished and the second cohort is now up and running.
Of the first year, WRU Coach Core manager Carl Scales said, “The apprentices have made huge progress since the programme was launched in October. They’ve gained valuable coaching and rugby development skills, but their personal development has also been hugely significant, from communication and confidence to employability. Many of them would admit they didn’t really know what they wanted to do beforehand, but they now have real direction in their lives.”
Jess Hancock, who will take up a place on the Foundation Degree in Rugby Coaching and Development at University of South Wales, along with two of the other graduates of the WRU programme – Dan White and Kyle Raubenhaimer – said, “The WRU Coach Core apprenticeship has given me a massive confidence boost and especially improved my communication skills. I’ve always wanted to work in sport but I definitely don’t think I could’ve achieved my potential without having gone through this programme.”
Owen Young has been appointed as a rugby officer at Ysgol Garth Olwg, starting in September. He spent time at Mountain Ash Comprehensive during the past school year. He said, “The WRU apprenticeship has certainly given me the experience and qualification I needed to enable me to gain this role.
“The programme opens many doors, not purely within the world of rugby, you could go down any sporting route after completing the year. It hasn’t been all plain sailing – but that was made very clear to us from the start – it’s not just rugby coaching which is what I was used to. I didn’t do very well in school, but the support we’ve been given has helped me achieve an important qualification which was vital in gaining employment.
“My biggest achievement during the year was establishing girls rugby at Mountain Ash comp. Until then there hadn’t been any girls’ teams at the school, but there was clearly an appetite and my fellow apprentice Cameron Douglas and I, with the help of Anthony Palmer, our apprentice link officer, worked hard to set up touch teams and festivals and now there are girls’ teams in every year group.”