Grooming future rugby stars

Proper rugby principles taught from an early age.

19 November 2018 | Sports

Callie van Wyk; Coach; “Parents tend to teach their kids wrong techniques.

Otis Finck - A group of 70 aspirant rugby players completed a six-week training course offered by the Golden Lions Naartjie Rugby Academy at Walvis Bay Private High School (WBPHS) recently.

The players attended more than four lessons and had to showcase what they had learned during an evaluation session. They received attendance certificates with a Golden Lions logo on it.

The Golden Lions franchise supports the Naartjies with gear and provides coaches for rugby clinics during the Desert rugby festival and throughout the year.

Players from pre-primary schools who would be at u/7 and u/8 level next year were invited to the most recent clinic.

The six-week programme commenced and took place on Mondays from 17:00 to 18:00.



Schools participating this year were Walvis Bay Private High School, Walvis Bay Primary School and Narraville Primary School.

All rugby coaches of WBPHS assisted the Naartjies with the task at hand.

The young players were taught the fundamentals of catching correctly, calling for and passing a ball. They learned how to tackle and roll and place the ball when receiving it as well as to fall and pop the ball.

The u/9 group who already have some experience with tackle rugby learned to follow up and clean the ball after rolling and placing the ball.

The first team players of WBPHS, the Naartjies, took the small groups and showed them the techniques which Callie van Wyk and Henjan van der Hyde worked out for each respective lesson.

Sessions focused on installing basic ball handling, communication, tackling and defending skills.

For the past few years WBPHS hosted clinics for the u/7, u/8 and u/9 players of surrounding schools.

Previously a total of about 40 players participated each year.

Coaches from participating schools and several parents assisted with the coaching.

“Parents tend to teach their kids wrong techniques and it is therefore and advantage when they also attend sessions and get involved as volunteers. This empowers and enables them to impart with correct rugby principles and ethics. We also add religion for balance,” explained Van Wyk, who heads the academy.

“The idea is that the coach and the parents take the lessons learned at the clinic back to their schools and apply them there.”

Every lesson was opened and closed with prayer and a loud Ram Tam Tam call was cheered.

The next rugby clinic will be held in the third trimester of 2019. Players from all schools in Walvis Bay are invited and are welcome to attend.

The Naartjies Academy under the leadership of Van Wyk has been instrumental in fostering a culture of rugby at the coast.

The participating coaches have World Rugby accreditation.

The academy previously hosted Ian McDonald who presented workshops focusing on rucks and malls during the Desert rugby festival which takes place annually in Walvis Bay.

Braam van Straaten shared tips on kicks and one on one defense strategies.

Chris Buitendacht covered scrums and line outs.

Plans are at an advanced stage to bring Springbok psychologist and conditioning coach Henning Gerricke to come and share his expertise at the next event scheduled for 2019.

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