Search

Hampstead youth division is blooming as club receive RFU accreditation

09:30 16 January 2014

Hampstead

Hampstead's Under-10s in action at the Grasshoppers Festival

Archant

When Hampstead set up their youth section they had just 15 players. Three years on, there are 160 young talents attending Saturday training sessions on Hampstead Heath by Parliament Hill athletics track.

Hampstead celebrate winning the London Scottish Rugby FestivalHampstead celebrate winning the London Scottish Rugby Festival

The striking increase in participation has been matched by results on the field, and the Under-10s and Under-11s both achieved top ranking in the London Scottish Rugby Festival in Richmond in October.

The Under-11s went on to finish in the top two at the Grasshoppers festival in west London in November, while the Under-10s – who were in the top four – will also compete in the Allianz Cup champions event at Saracens’ Allianz Park stadium next month.

John Collis, who coaches the Under-10s, has been involved with Hampstead’s junior set-up for the past year – and he has been delighted to see the increase in numbers.

“I would say the friendliness of the club is a big factor – and the ethos, which is mass participation,” he told Ham&High Sport.

“There really is a place for every child. There’s a big emphasis on team play, which is also why they’re successful on the pitch.

“Often, in team sports involving children under the age of 12, you get 22 or 30 kids chasing the same ball and there’s a focus on the quickest and the strongest.

“At Hampstead, everyone knows that the stars can only be the stars because of the work that the rest of the team is doing, and that everyone has their role.”

It is not just the youth set-up which is thriving. Hampstead have been given official accreditation from the Rugby Football Union (RFU) as a recognition of the strength of the club across the board.

The scheme meant Hampstead were assessed in six key areas: retaining & developing players; recruiting new players; recruiting and retaining high-quality coaches; volunteers and referees; effective and efficient facilities; effective and efficient management and governance; integration with the local community.

They ticked every box, and the development of the youth division was an important factor.

Hampstead chairman Simon Taylor said: “We are really proud of what we are achieving at a junior level as a club.

“It shows that the Olympic legacy for sport can be built from the grassroots, through the passion and commitment of volunteers.

“Hampstead is born out of a love for rugby and encouraging children of all shapes and sizes and talents to try rugby.

“We always want every child to play in matches and, frankly, winning is a bonus – instilling a love for rugby is our most important goal. We are justly proud to win two festival cups and accreditation.”

It is hoped that the 2015 Rugby World Cup, which is taking place in England, will encourage further participation in the sport and inspire a new generation of players – and Collis believes the 2016 Olympics may have the same effect.

“I don’t know if the [London] Olympics has been a big factor in the increased numbers that we’ve seen, but I think it will be in future,” he said.

“Rugby sevens is going to be an Olympic sport in two years, and that could be a major driver for a lot of people.”

Meanwhile, Hampstead’s men’s first team suffered a home defeat against Hammersmith & Fulham at the weekend, going down 24-0 in London North-West Division Two.

Meanwhile, the ladies team drew 5-5 away against their title rivals Old Albanians, leaving them fourth in the Women’s Championship South-East Division Two.

The second-placed Albanians, who are just two points ahead, are the only team to beat Hampstead in the league this season.

The visitors took the lead through prop Julie Fail, but they were reduced to 14 players for 10 minutes in the second half and conceded an equaliser.

Hampstead go on to host league leaders Blackheath in another crucial clash on Sunday.

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Yesterday, 19:30
Arsenal's Gabriel Paulista celebrates Danny Welbeck's winner against Norwich

Arsenal 1 Norwich City 0

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino hopes to emulate Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign at Manchester United and create his own legacy at Tottenham after announcing he has agreed a two-year contract extension.

Dele Alli (right) appeared to punch West Bromwich Albion's Claudio Yacob during Monday's 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane and has been banned for three games

Dele Alli will continue to take part in training until the end of the season, even though he cannot play for Tottenham, to maintain his fitness ahead of this summer’s Euro 2016 Championship.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino has announced he has verbally agreed a two-year contract extension at Tottenham, extending his stay at White Hart Lane until 2021.

Thu, 17:30
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe  (back row, centre) visited Haringey Police Boxing Club on Tottenham High Road. Pic: Dieter Perry

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe visited Haringey Police Boxing Club to meet a contingent of fighters who are hoping to compete in the Haringey Box Cup in June.

Thu, 17:14
Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla of Arsenal (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Although they spurned the chance to win the league title, Arsenal Under-21s still have a chance to reach the top tier of second-string football via the play-offs.

Thu, 13:15
James Harris in action for Middlesex

Middlesex seamer James Harris feels squad rotation is essential if the club are to successfully negotiate a punishing schedule during the coming weeks.

Thu, 12:00
Heung-Min Son was only introduced in the 85th minute as Tottenham dropped two crucial points at home against West Bromwich Albion at White Hart Lane on Monday

Tottenham blogger George Lacey feels that, while Spurs have exceeded all expectations this season, the lack of a plan B was evident in Monday’s costly draw against West Bromwich Albion.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe