BeRugby magazine for your rugby mad kids


Youth Rugby

Bambi on ice? No, just a mini growth spurt!

What are they doing?

‘They look like Bambi on ice.’

‘I don’t understand, they could do that a few weeks ago.’

‘Why are we bothering, it looks like they have done no sport at all.’

These are just some of the comments that I have heard on the side lines of training sessions and matches over the last few years.  Do you know what?  At some point in time, both in their early years of growth and during puberty, all parents and coaches will have noticed physical and mental changes in the players that they are involved with.

Puberty is the most documented growth and development spurt but prior to that children will experience many mini growth spurts.  If your child grows a few centimetres very quickly, you will undoubtedly watch them struggle to find their feet so to speak.

They will look uncoordinated, they may trip over the ball, the piece of skill they could do easily only a few weeks ago looks a distant memory. They may have lost some speed and their changes of direction suddenly look more like the QE2 turning.

Rugby kids

There is no need to panic, they have probably just grown.

It will often take them a few weeks to retrain their brains and bodies to coordinate the movements once again to the height that they are now working from.  It will soon come back together for them and it is important during this stage that both parents and coaches back off and do not shout and criticise them too much.

It can be difficult to watch as a parent, but patience and bags of encouragement and understanding is really important no matter how frustrated you may be feeling.

Going through puberty which can generally last for two to five years will have a much more significant impact on the development and performance of your child.  It will be a long and bumpy ride and where possible it needs to be managed as effectively as possible.

Most girls will start puberty between 8-13 (average age around 12) and have their major growth spurt between 10-14.

Most boys will start puberty between 10-13 and continue to grow until around 16-17 years of age.

During these periods you will notice an increase in body size, hormones and muscle strength and a temporary decline in balance, skills and body control.  In fact they may well just appear as clumsy.

This is just a temporary phase in your child’s development, with temporary being the key word.

Your child’s coach should be aware of these stages and once again it is vital that both parents and coaches remain positive and encouraging.

The more parents and coaches can understand and recognise this, the better the environment you will be able to create for your children playing.

Based on the above the best advice for parents would be:

  • Do not panic if your child suddenly looks clumsy
  • Do not start constantly yelling at them at this stage, no matter how frustrated you may be feeling
  • Speak to the coach- make sure they are aware of the situation.
  • Seek advice on the amount of training during puberty to help prevent overuse injuries

Many thanks to Gordon at for this great article.

saracens rugby
Latest News & Articles

Possibly the best competition ever!

Do you have a rugby mad child who fancies themselves as a sports journalist or wants to give it a go? Do they want to meet an elite, professional rugby player? Then check out our great competition.

At BeRugby magazine we are very lucky to meet the best rugby players in the world. But we thought, why should we have all the fun?

So, we have teamed up with the awesome guys and girls at Saracens to offer YOU the opportunity to meet a top Premiership player and interview them with us!

Farrell rugby

Owen Farrell gives our competition the thumbs up!
Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

There will also be an amazing opportunity to tour the Sarries training ground and Allianz Park and you may even spy some more Saracens players wandering around. We told you its an awesome competition (and we may have more surprises lined up for the lucky winner).

To have a chance of winning, grab a copy of the September issue of BeRugby and fill out the competition form inside. Magazines are available on our subscription page or at many main high street branches of WHSmiths, ASDA and Tesco’s. Check out this store locator to find your nearest one

All we want to know is what question you would ask a Premiership player if you were interviewing them with us? We will pick the best one and the winner will join us at Saracens to ask the question in person. Remember, be creative!

To whet your appetite further check out Saracens at

We can’t wait to read all of your questions. Good luck!

Small print. Entrants must be aged between 7 and 14 and able to get to Allianz Park on a day to be arranged with the winner. Must also be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Only the form from BRM edition 25 (September 18) will be accepted, no photocopies or emails. Entries must be received by the 30/09/2018.

Maro Itoje rugby

Maro Itoje. A great role model. Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

Jack Blain rugby
Youth Rugby

BRM talks to Jack Blain, the future of Edinburgh rugby!

Q and A with Edinburgh Rugby’s Jack Blain

In recent weeks Jack Blain became the first player born in the 2000s to turn out for a Scottish pro rugby side, our Scottish correspondent caught up with him:

BeRugby Magazine – How did you get into rugby?

Jack Blain – I started playing rugby when I was in primary school with the Stew Mel Lions in Edinburgh and then began also playing school rugby at Stewart’s Melville around P4 age.

BRM – Was rugby your first love?

JB – Like a lot of youngsters growing up I tried to get involved in as much sporting activity as possible an also liked cricket and athletics. Rugby then kind of took over in recent years once I was lucky enough to play regional under-16s which moved into Scotland under-16s.

BRM – How was playing for Scotland under-18?

JB – I played Scotland under-18 for the last two years while the school first XV were also doing well so it was a busy time, but I learnt so much and grew as a person and a player.

BRM – How important was being a Scottish Rugby stage two Academy player in 2017/18?

JB – It gave me access to some extra coaching and facilities and the school and the Academy worked together to make sure that my workload was managed and I will always be grateful for that.

BRM – How did things escalate?

Jack Blain rugby

Jack Blain in his school playing days (not that long ago!). Photo courtesy of Scottish rugby/SNS

JB – I left school a few months ago and have been lucky enough to become a stage three Academy player. For three weeks over the summer I did pre-season with the other Academy players and the I was invited along to a couple of Edinburgh sessions. I was then told I would be heading off with the full squad to St Andrews for a training camp.

BRM – That must have been amazing?

JB – It certainly was amazing and I learnt a lot because we were fully focused on rugby and I was able to get to know a lot of the players better. I must admit it was weird at first running out onto a training pitch with guys who I have watched on the TV growing up!

BRM – What was it like to be named in the starting XV for the Bath pre-season match on August 17?

JB – It came as a massive surprise on the Wednesday when the coaches read out the squad for the Bath game and I was starting. I had to pinch myself really to believe it was true and, even now, I still feel like it is all a bit of a dream.

BRM – Lots of nerves?

JB – Leading up to the match against Bath I was feeling pretty nervous, but once I got out there I just tried to get involved as much as possible. I didn’t see much of the ball, but hopefully I did well enough in the 40 minutes I was on.

BRM – Strange feeling?

JB – After the game in the changing room it was really surreal thinking ‘I have played for Edinburgh’ and letting it sink in, but now I have to get my head down, work hard and move forward.

BRM – Feedback since that and the Newcastle Falcons match on August 24?

JB – My phone has been going pretty mad with messages over the last few days, I think I have heard from everyone I have ever met! A few folk have mentioned about being the first player born after 2000 to play for Edinburgh and it is a pretty cool stat to have.

BRM – Advice to other youngster?

JB – Play for fun, listen to coaches and see where things take you.

What do Jack’s teachers say:

Stewart’s Melville College head of rugby Stuart Edwards: It is great to see someone like Jack getting a chance with Edinburgh. He was always a talented sportsman at school and really put the hard work in. He was a good team player and to see him progress so quickly to play alongside Scotland internationalists is quite amazing.

For more news on Edinburgh rugby visit


Gallagher Premiership rugby
Latest News & Articles

Only 3 more sleeps until rugby, rugby, rugby!

Gallagher Premiership Rugby kicks off this weekend with six compelling matches to start the 22nd Premiership season. We can’t wait!

The opener could not be more intriguing with Todd Blackadder taking his Bath Rugby side on the short journey to Ashton Gate to face newly promoted Bristol Bears in front of a huge crowd and the live BT Sport cameras. BT Sport have decided to signify the start of the season by screening four matches live this weekend including a double header on Saturday from Kingsholm Stadium and Sandy Park before champions Saracens get their campaign underway at Kingston Park on Sunday.

Gallagher Premiership rugby

Friday 31 August

Bristol Bears v Bath Rugby (Ashton Gate, 7.45pm) Live on BT Sport
Referee: JP Doyle (154th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Adam Leal & Wayne Falla. TMO: Rowan Kitt.
Citing Officer: Buster White.

The 22nd Premiership Rugby season begins with a new sponsor, Gallagher.

Bristol Bears were promoted after winning the RFU Championship last season and are bidding to become the third promoted team in the last four seasons to win their opening fixture in Premiership Rugby. The Bears lost only one league game last season, 34-38 at home to Jersey Reds in March.

Bath Rugby have begun their season with a victory in round 1 for the past eight years and finished off their last campaign with wins at Gloucester and at home to London Irish.

The only occasions that the two clubs have met since season 2008/09 were all in 2016/17 with Bath taking three victories (two in the European Challenge Cup) and Bristol winning 12-11 at Ashton Gate in Premiership Rugby. Bath have made five previous visits to Ashton Gate, winning twice.

Gloucester rugby

Willi Heinz of Gloucester Rugby. Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

Saturday 1 September

Gloucester Rugby v Northampton Saints (Kingsholm, 2pm) Live on BT Sport
Referee: Matthew Carley (75th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Jack Makepeace & Greg Macdonald. TMO: Trevor Fisher.
Citing Officer: John Byett.

Gloucester Rugby’s only two victories in round 1 since 2009 were at Newcastle in 2015 and at home to then defending champions Exeter twelve months ago. Gloucester concluded their last Premiership Rugby campaign with just one home win in their last four games at Kingsholm.

Northampton Saints have been defeated in round 1 for the past three seasons and finished off 2017/18 with two wins in the last three rounds of Premiership Rugby. The Saints won just twice away from home in the tournament last season, at London Irish in round 4 and at Leicester in round 20.

Northampton’s only defeat in their last eleven clashes with Gloucester in all competitions was 22-29 at Kingsholm in round 6 of Premiership Rugby last season.

Harlequins v Sale Sharks (Twickenham Stoop, 3pm)
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (52nd Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Simon McConnell & Roy Maybank. TMO: David Grashoff.
Citing Officer: Paul Burke.

Harlequins defeat to London Irish in the opening weekend at Twickenham Stadium twelve months ago ended a run of six successive round 1 victories for ‘Quins. Harlequins have won only one of their last ten games in Premiership Rugby, beating Bath 20-5 at The Stoop in March in a game that was delayed 48 hours due to bad weather.

Sale Sharks have lost on the opening weekend for the past four seasons and were also defeated in each of the last three rounds last season. The Sharks won three of their last seven away games in Premiership Rugby in 2017/18, at Worcester, London Irish and Northampton.

The last six encounters between the two clubs in Premiership Rugby have all been won by the home side on the day whilst Sharks only victory at The Stoop in the tournament since 2008 was in November 2014.

Worcester Warriors v Wasps (Sixways, 3pm)
Referee: Karl Dickson (7th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Peter Allan & Philip Watters. TMO: Stuart Terheege.
Citing Officer: Chris Catling.

Worcester Warriors have only recorded a round 1 victory in Premiership Rugby twice before, both at Sixways, against Sale in 2011 and Northampton in 2015. The Warriors last five games of the 2017/18 campaign were all won by the home side on the day whilst Worcester’s only home defeat in Premiership Rugby since early January was to Leicester on 4 March.

Between 2012 and 2015 Wasps began their new Premiership Rugby season with a defeat, a run which ended with round 1 victories at the Ricoh Arena against Exeter in 2016 and Sale in 2017. Wasps finished off last season with defeat in the semi-final at Saracens but rounded off the regular season with three straight victories.

The Warriors most recent victory over Wasps came at Sixways in Premiership Rugby in March 2013. Wasps have actually won at the venue on six of their last seven visits in the competition.

Don Armand rugby

“Big” Don Armand of Exeter Chiefs. Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / JMP

Exeter Chiefs v Leicester Tigers (Sandy Park, 4.30pm) Live on BT Sport
Referee: Wayne Barnes (201st Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Paul Dix & Anthony Woodthorpe. TMO: David Rose.
Citing Officer: Andrew Pearce with David Barnes.

Exeter Chiefs only victory in round 1 in the last five seasons was 52-0 at London Welsh in 2014, however this is the first time that The Chiefs have begun the season with a home fixture at Sandy Park since 2012. Exeter’s defeat in last season’s Premiership final ended a run of ten successive victories in first team fixtures. The Chiefs have lost only once at Sandy Park in Premiership Rugby since October 2016: 5-6 to Worcester in round 14 last season.

Leicester Tigers opening weekend defeat at home to Bath twelve months ago ended a run of five successive round 1 victories. Tigers lost only two of their last eight Premiership Rugby encounters last season, both at home, to Northampton and Newcastle. Leicester have won their last four away games but have not won five in succession on their travels in the tournament since 2012.

The Chiefs have won four of their last six contests with Tigers in Premiership Rugby, whilst Leicester’s most recent triumph at Sandy Park was in 2014.

Sunday 2 September

Newcastle Falcons v Saracens (Kingston Park, 3pm) Live on BT Sport
Referee: Ian Tempest (47th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Tim Wigglesworth & John Meredith. TMO: Sean Davey.
Citing Officer: Buster White.

Newcastle Falcons have begun their Premiership Rugby campaign with an opening weekend victory for the past two seasons. The Falcons lost out at Exeter in the semi-final last season and were also defeated by Wasps on their most recent game at Kingston Park to end a run of nine successive home victories in all competitions.

Premiership Rugby champions, Saracens, have won their opening fixture of the new campaign for the past six seasons and finished off last year with seven straight Premiership Rugby victories, since their 12-24 reversal to Exeter at Sandy park on 4 March.

Saracens have won their last nineteen encounters with Falcons in all tournaments since Newcastle’s 13-9 victory at Kingtson Park in Premiership Rugby in February 2009.

Check out all the latest news and updates for the Gallagher Premiership at

Latest News & Articles, Uncategorised

Zack kicks off his stateside adventure


Zack Bolton with Gateshead College coach Matt Fieldhouse

A promising young rugby player has won a scholarship to enhance his sporting talents in the US.

From January 2019, 19-year-old Zack Bolton will study for a sports degree and train at a top university in America.

The opportunity came about after Zack, from Stockton, completed a two-year sports studies course and a one-year extended sports diploma at Gateshead College. 

During his time at college, he acquired skills and knowledge in several key disciplines, including fitness and conditioning, sports performance and leadership skills, physiology and sports psychology. He also got the chance to learn from experienced industry professionals such as Newcastle Falcons coach Rob Jones, who has also coached Gateshead Thunder and the Indian national team.

Zack said: “This is a great opportunity for me to progress my rugby career and sample life in a different country. After studying at Gateshead College, I got in touch with a contractor in America, First Point USA, which has helped more than 8,000 students win scholarships since 2001. They set up a series of trials for me in the UK, testing me on everything from practical rugby skills to theory on fitness and conditioning.

“Ultimately my aim is to make it as a professional rugby player. Thanks to Gateshead College and the skills and experience I acquired while studying there, I’ve every chance of realising that goal. 

Zack’s enthusiasm for the sport was triggered by a chance encounter while he was helping out in his grandmother’s newspaper shop at the age of ten.

He said: “I met a lad who was really into rugby and it sparked my interest in the sport. I played rugby union until I was about 16 and since then I’ve played a mixture of union and league.

“It has taken a lot of dedication to get where I am today. I used to travel from Stockton to Gateshead on public transport and I had to get six different buses! That said, it was worth the effort; the tutors at college were really interested in my personal and professional development and made every effort to help me be the best I can be.”

Programmes of study at Gateshead College’s Academy for Sport allow students to play or coach in their chosen discipline while studying for nationally recognised qualifications. They also develop skills needed to become an elite sportsman or woman or forge a successful career in other areas of the industry.

RugbyMatt Fieldhouse, coach at Gateshead College’s Rugby Academy, said: “Zack has done tremendously well and deserves his chance to study and play rugby in the US. His drive and dedication both on and off the field, has been a great example for all of our rugby players this year and I wish him the best of luck in the future.”

“Our development programmes at the Academy for Sport prepare our students thoroughly for a career in the sports industry. They’re able to take advantage of some fantastic opportunities and gain nationally recognised qualifications that help them progress up the career ladder.

“They also get valuable work experience, which looks great on their CV. Another of our former students, Will McCubbin, has just completed the first year of his rugby scholarship in the US. He’s studying exercise science at the Life University in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta, Georgia.   I hope many more students follow in the footsteps of Zack and Will.”    

Academy for Sport students work with coaches to attain sporting excellence whilst gaining academic and coaching qualifications in an environment which inspires them to achieve great success. The college has academies in men’s and women’s football, athletics, basketball, boxing, cricket, netball and rugby.

To find out more about Gateshead College and the courses on offer, visit

Rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, Gateshead College is number one in the North East region and second in the UK, based on the achievement rates of students. The inspectors were impressed with the college’s approach to giving students an employment edge – a unique combination of high quality education and the real-world skills employers look for. 

Seabelo Senatla rugby
Latest News & Articles

Fast enough to become a Springbok? The story of Seabelo Senatla.

What worrying event ended up enhancing the life of South African rugby player SEABELO SENATLA? The blisteringly fast winger, awarded the World Rugby Sevens Player of 2016 and now also playing 15-man rugby for South Africa’s Western Province and the Stormers, told KATY MACDONALD.

Seabelo senatla rugbySeabelo was born and grew up in Welkom, a small town in South Africa’s Free State. He’s the middle child of a police officer father and a teacher-turned-educationalist mother. Seabelo has notched up 200 tries in sevens rugby faster than anyone else in the world.

Seabelo is well known on the 7’s circuit having signed his first contract to play for the “Blitzbokke” (the South African sevens team’s nickname) in 2013. However, he is not as well known in the world of 15 a side rugby. His aim is to play for South Africa at 15’s and he is signed to the Stormers in Super Rugby.

In 7’s Seabelo has already won a gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014 and gold in the World Games in Cali in 2013. Seabelo was part of the 7’s team at the 2016 Olympics and was on fire until he fractured his wrist in the quarter finals. The team went on to win bronze but Seabelo’s medal was awarded to Francois Hougaard, his replacement. In true rugby style Hougaard gave his medal to Seabelo and said that he deserved it more. Rugby respect right there.

Despite being young he has achieved a lot and he even has an 8-year-old son called Omphile which means God given. Seabelo is still only 25 and we hope to see more of him, maybe in a Springboks jersey?

The full and very interesting article by Thislife Online magazine can be read at

Fact file

Born – Welkom, South Africa.

Height – 176cm.

Weight – 79kg.

Position – Wing.

Club – Stormers and the South African “Blitzbokke” 7’s team.

Club caps – 19 (Stormers).

SA caps – 193 (Blitzbokke).

London Scottish Rugby
Latest News & Articles

Dont miss the London Scottish Community Camps!

Come and join London Scottish at our Community Camps at The Athletic Ground in Richmond. 

We offer multiple courses throughout the season to keep kids entertained in holidays whilst also progressing their rugby skills! Learn from 1st team players who come down to coach and pass on their top tips.

Later this month (August 28-30th) we will be holding a Contact Clinic camp, perfect preparation for the new season and a great way to round off the summer holidays. Book here 

Our October camp (23rd-25th) will also not be one to miss out on. This will be the Passing Perfection clinic. Book here 

Book onto a single day at The Richmond Athletic Ground or get a discount for booking onto the whole 3-day course!

London Scottish Rugby

Mini and Junior Rugby at London Scottish

We run mixed ability, mixed gender teams, from Lion Cubs U6s to U12s. The emphasis is on all players getting involved and having fun. Most of the players come from schools in the nearby area so why not come along.

Want to join? Email with any queries or questions you may have. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Junior rugby is very active at London Scottish with age group teams from U13 to U18 with the Junior Academy at the top of the section for boys.

Girls rugby is growing fast at London Scottish and with a core group of girls, a team of coaches and a team manager we are looking forward to welcoming all girls keen to play rugby, even if you have never played.

Our coaching team will help you develop and the more experienced girls will also be keen to help!

Each age group have RFU qualified coaches and we train and play on Sundays 11:30 to 13:30. All the age groups also train on Wednesdays nights 19:00 to 20:00 at the club.




Rachael Burford rugby camp
Latest News & Articles, Youth Rugby

Amazing opportunity for rugby mad girls!

This August, grab the opportunity to train with England Rugby world cup winner Rachael Burford, who will be coaching her Summer Rugby Day Camps for girls in Kent, Surrey and Sussex/Hampshire. The Burford Academy camps are aimed at girls of all levels of skill and experience between the ages of 7-18. Attendees have the opportunity to build new friendships whilst developing their skills and confidence both on and off the pitch, all under the guidance of some of the nation’s top female international Rugby players. 

Rachael, who has become one of the first women in English history to become a full time professional rugby player, will deliver these camps personally alongside her team of experienced coaches. Guest appearances from fellow international players are to include the likes of Katy Daley Mclean (England No:10), Nolli Waterman – (Formerly England No:15), Rocky Clark (England No:1) and Fran Matthews (Formerly England No:14).

Rachael Burford rugby camp

This Summer’s camps will be held as follows:

Surrey –  13th August Old Surbitonians Memorial Ground

Sussex and Hampshire – 15th August Hove Recreation Ground

Kent – 20th August at St Marks Recreation Ground


There are only 25 places in each age group so if you want to get muddy with the champions this Summer, book your space up now via


In Rachael’s own words, founding TWELVE ( and the BURFORD ACADEMY is her attempt to give back to a game that has given her so much over the years. Inspiring others (especially the next generation) to not only fall in love with the sport she holds dear, but to learn from her unique insight into teamwork, achievement, and the value of pursuing one’s dreams.


Facebook: @burfordacademy


(We will be at the Kent rugby camp. We can’t wait to get down and support the future of women’s rugby! let us know if you will be there?)

Rugby captain
Latest News & Articles, Youth Rugby

Is your child a potential leader?

Written by Gordon MacLelland

How important is the role of a captain in children’s sport and do coaches take the opportunity to help develop some of the skills required in order for young people to develop and become leaders later on?  Do coaches when handing over the role really give away the responsibility and allow the freedom for their captains to express themselves?

I remember a school cricket game many years ago when a new cricket coach into our establishment (a former professional player) managed their first U13 game.  With not long to go the 1st XI were in real danger of losing a home game, something that had not happened for a while.  The field positions were wrong and he was not acting.  What was he doing?  Why had he not spoken to the captain? Why had he not moved some players as many U13 coaches would do?  Could he not see the score board and the danger of losing?

These were all comments made from fellow coaches and parents on the side of the pitch.

I spoke to him afterwards and I will never forget the conversation.  He merely said, ‘how can we expect them to learn if they do not make the decision for themselves?’ ‘I will speak to the captain this week and the team and we will talk about what has happened.  It will be a far more powerful lesson that they have lost the game and the next time they find themselves in that situation, hopefully a few of them will recognise it and make far better decisions.’

I later saw that side get into a similar situation later in the year and the same mistake did not happen again but not only did the captain act so did another 4 or 5 players.  Great leadership from the coach, great learning from the players and the loss had led to so many valuable lessons being learnt by the players as opposed to adults bailing them out to gain a short-term victory.

I am writing this blog opposite an old school friend and we are just talking about our own sporting experiences.   Neither of us as players had any interest in being a captain, were never asked to be a captain and we felt we had enough to worry about with our own games than worrying about other people.

In a lot of children’s sport the role of captain is certainly less important than the role when children reach the teenage years and enter into adulthood.  Most coaches carry out a large number of the roles required in the early years along with supporting parents.

Many captains who appear in children’s sport can often be seen to be simply the best player, regardless of whether they display many of the character traits assumed with such a role.  As a coach working with 13 year olds over the last 10 years, with hindsight I believe I have appointed 5 great captains and 5 very average ones.  What was it I was looking for?

Even if I knew what I was looking for, why did some carry out the role far better than the rest?  Is there a magic formula?

It is pleasing to see that many clubs at grassroots level simply rotate their captain around giving a different child an opportunity each week.  It gives a child confidence, gives them something to look forward to and gives them a taste of what it perhaps may feel like in the future.

As they grow older however when should we really start to be looking at these potential leaders?

I welcome any thoughts from coaches and parents on when you feel this should be, when this occurs and what can we do as coaches and parents to really help them understand their roles and responsibilities to the rest of the group?

Being a captain isn’t just about wearing the cap or being the boss or even just cheering your friends on. It requires a number of other traits.

Rugby Dylan Hartley

England Captain Dylan Hartley lifts the Six Nations trophy. Credit Patrick Khachfe – onside images

Does your child display any of the following?

  • the desire to lead by example
  • a passionate belief in team spirit
  • the ability to handle the conflicts that invariably arise when a team is under pressure
  • the desire to put more input in planning the team’s strategies
  • the ability to handle problems which may arise in a fair and expedient manner
  • the ability to behave professionally and responsibly despite personal feelings of frustration and anger
  • a thorough knowledge of the rules of the game
  • a desire to build relationships with other members of the team, in good times and bad
  • the ability to handle the burden of being captain while still playing in the team
  • the ability to inspire and motivate and raise team morale

If your child does gain this coveted role or displays many of the above, how can you as a parent help support them in doing the best job that they can?  Being a sports team captain is a great opportunity for them to develop the leadership traits that will help them succeed in their future career, whether this is as a sports athlete or in another field of work.

How can you as a parent help them provide good leadership?

  • Encourage them to take charge – not just rely on the coaches. For example, encourage them to start the warm ups on time, even if the coaches are still getting ready or temporarily occupied elsewhere.
  • Encourage them to do more than is expected – stay longer, help put equipment away, take the time to talk to other players and coaches.
  • Encourage them to take responsibility for their actions – don’t play the blame game.  They will be respected far more than if they make lots of excuses.
  • Get them to lead with actions, not words. Anybody can talk – it is what they do that counts.
  • Don’t allow them to elevate themselves above the rest of the team – just because they have the captain title does not mean that they should have any preferential treatment.

A sports team captain is subject to the same rules and consequences as the rest of the team.

If your child has yet to be a captain and they would like to be then encourage them to be self-aware and improve their leadership skills.

There are many great leaders in many sports teams around the world who never gain the coveted role but are excellent in their own right both on and off the field.

If your child needs encouragement, get them to think about the captains of various sports teams in the international arena and consider why they were chosen – was it because they are popular? The best player? Responsible? Honest? Dependable? A good listener? Motivating and inspiring? Remain calm and positive under pressure?

Some children are not cut out to be captains but they should all be given the opportunity by coaches and parents to develop some of the character skills through their sport associated with such a role.

(Thanks to Gordon MacLelland of WWPIS. Check out more great articles at


Yorkshire Carnegie rugby
Latest News & Articles

Recycle Possession with Yorkshire Carnegie Community

Yorkshire Carnegie’s Community Team are delighted to announce the launch of Recycle Possession, a new county wide kit donation programme which aims to remove a barrier for people wanting to play rugby union. Recycle Possession will run throughout the season. The aim being that people can donate pre-loved kit which will then be distributed to those who are unable to access suitable clothing which allows them to participate in rugby.

Through our work across the county, we have found one consistent barrier to participation, both in schools and clubs, is the lack of appropriate kit and equipment particularly in the winter months. Recycle Possession hopes to be the solution to this problem.

One programme we hope will benefit from this is the award winning Project Rugby programme which we deliver across the county.  Developed by Premiership Rugby in conjunction with the RFU and delivered by 14 professional clubs, this community participation initiative is designed to increase participation in the game by people from traditionally underrepresented groups: Black Asian & Minority Ethnic people, people from Lower Socio-Economic backgrounds and disabled people.Yorkshire Carnegie rugby

Community Programme Manager, Kristian Sharples highlighted how important this programme could be in creating playing opportunities, “It’s not just the physical aspect of giving participants appropriate kit which means they can then safely take part in rugby. It can have a really profound impact on young peoples’ confidence and self-esteem to have some boots or a shirt that they can keep and make their own.

I am really excited about this project. Rugby should be accessible to all and we hope that the wider community will get behind it and support our aim to reduce the barriers to participation.”
The Yorkshire Carnegie Championship Squad members have already been recycling some items of their own, including Sam Allan who has also worked closely with the Community Team on Project Rugby over the last couple of years. “This is a fantastic programme and having coached on Project Rugby, I can really see how it will benefit people. It is great to be able to give something back to the wider community game in this way.”

Recycle Possession will run throughout the 2018/19 season with several ways for individuals and groups to donate. All clean shirts, boots, shorts and further rugby equipment are most welcome. There will be drop off locations at several of our Affiliated Clubs and Schools. There will also be opportunities to donate at all community events including Summer Camps, matchdays and festivals. The team will also be available to come and collect donations from clubs.

For information on Recycle Possession or to arrange a donation visit please contact