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

07:45
Arsenal's Gabriel Paulista celebrates scoring (John Walton/PA Wire)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says defender Gabriel is still struggling to grasp the English language.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino says he is enjoying the best time of his managerial career as he prepares to take Tottenham to Manchester City for a title showdown on Sunday.

Yesterday, 09:27
Arsenal's Santi Cazorla (Adam Davy/PA Wire)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere will remain sidelined for at least the next two or three weeks.

Peter Crouch celebrates his decisive goal for Tottenham at Manchester City in May 2010

Sunday promises to be a big day in the title fight as the Premier League’s top four teams go head to head – Leicester City visit Arsenal while Tottenham travel to face Manchester City.

Kevin Wimmer:

Tottenham defender Kevin Wimmer is yet to concede a goal in the Premier League since replacing Jan Vertonghen – and he is aiming to keep it that way as he prepares to face Sergio Aguero in Sunday’s title showdown at Manchester City.

Thu, 09:00
Left to right: Gareth Davies, Max Hanson, Joe Northover, head coach Paul Doyle, Renat Samur, Alex Vonckx, Max Green

Haringey Aquatics teenager Renat Samur recorded a double as the club collected a total of five gold medals at the ASA Middlesex Age Group Championships.

Thu, 08:30
Back row (left to right): John Beckett, Joe Bruce, Wyn Bliss, George Everitt, Nick Corbett, Joe Beckett. Front row: Joel Robb, Ben Miller, Alfie Buxton

Haringey’s Under-13 indoor cricket side narrowly missed out on qualifying for the finals of the London Youth Games at Harrow Leisure Centre on Saturday.

Thu, 08:00
Charlie Hodgson kicked three penalties in Saracens' victory over Exeter on Sunday. Pic: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Saracens’ director of rugby Mark McCall is confident his current squad can maintain the club’s momentum at the top of the table, despite the absence of key international stars due to the Six Nations.

Most read 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

Champagne experience

This Valentine’s Day, the Coca-Cola London Eye is the perfect destination for lovebirds, offering a range of romantic experiences from Friday 12th February - Sunday 14th February 2016.

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe