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BNU Sports Management student learns from the best

Read about Max Le-Count Ward's visit to the home of England Rugby

Stuart Lancaster with Max Le Count Ward

Stuart Lancaster with Max Le Count Ward

Second-year Bucks New University Sports Management and Rugby Studies student Max Le Count-Ward rubbed shoulders with some rugby greats during a training day at Twickenham Stadium, the home of England Rugby.

Max, 19, works voluntarily at London Wasps as part of the community partnership with Bucks New University and has completed a Level 2 QBE coaching qualification through the Rugby Football Union (RFU), meaning he can coach amateur 15-a-side teams. He and other newly-qualified coaches were invited to attend the RFU Coaching Club day at the world-famous stadium after completing the qualification.

It included a tour of the stadium and a question-and-answer session with former England stars Mike Catt, the RFU's Attacking Skills Coach, and Graham Rowntree, the Forwards Coach. The pair also ran two coaching clinics on the Twickenham pitch before the attendees carried out a coaching session of their own with employees of QBE Insurance Group Limited, which backs the RFU Coaching Club. The trainee coaches were watched by Catt, Rowntree and England Head Coach, Stuart Lancaster.

Max said, "After an hour of coaching, the players then departed and we were de-briefed by the RFU coaches. I, along with a few others, was also picked to be interviewed by Sky Sports and QBE TV which in itself was a unique experience.

"Overall the day was fantastic and something I'm extremely fortunate to have attended. The tips and advice I received from Mike (Catt) and Graham (Rowntree) were extremely helpful and I'll certainly be looking to implement them into my coaching at grass-roots level.

"The experience of playing and coaching on the famous Twickenham pitch is something I'll never forget, and the whole experience should also benefit my studies at Bucks New University."

Max is now coaching the Under 16s team at High Wycombe Rugby Club, as well as working for London Wasps, coaching in local schools, clubs and our Coachclass Programme.

He added, "The coaching qualification has and will help with my coaching module on the degree, linking general sport coaching theories and concepts to rugby specific coaching examples."

Bucks New University course leader Hugh Mannerings said. "Max has a bright future ahead of him. The benefits to him from this experience will last a lifetime, and the skills, knowledge and opportunity he was given will help develop his coaching career, plus having brilliant positive role models in the England coaching staff to learn from can only have helped Max develop his professional skills."

Max can be seen in action at the coaching day here.

Further Information:

Buckinghamshire New University has enjoyed a long and successful history since it was founded in 1893. The University offers an extensive portfolio of courses spanning the creative and cultural industries, the management and information management sectors, and the public sector. It also offers services to industry including contract research, consultancy and the opportunity to employ graduates.

The University has a state-of-the-art building in High Wycombe known as the Gateway, which comprises a learning resource and technology centre, events hall, gym, sports science laboratory, dance, drama, music and video production studios, library and meeting rooms. It also offers a growing provision of student accommodation in High Wycombe; and a thriving base for nursing students and applied healthcare research in Uxbridge, West London.

Its alumni include television star Noel Fielding and London 2012 Paralympic and Olympic medallists Naomi Riches and Chloe Rogers, and it has bestowed honorary degrees on well-known figures including Fern Britton, Terry Wogan and England Rugby World Cup winner Lawrence Dallaglio.

Bucks New University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Ruth Farwell, is Chair of GuildHE, which represents the heads of some of the most recently designated universities and university colleges, specialist colleges and other bodies providing higher education programmes.


For further information, details and images contact Dean Valler, Communications Officer at Buckinghamshire New University, on 01494 601 636 or 07920 212 937 or email