Coachclass heads to the Netherlands

Date: 16 Jul 2019

Wasps have gone Dutch after delivering their own community programme in the Netherlands.

The Black and Gold community team has visited Gouda RFC, near Rotterdam, to deliver a weekend-long equivalent of their Coachclass programme, which helps players of all abilities to harness their rugby skills.

More than 1,200 young people participate in Wasps’ Coachclass programme in the UK every year, and with the initiative expanding year-on-year, new overseas avenues are being explored.

Wasps Community coaches Andy Smith, Hannah Faulds and Alex Crisp teamed up with Gouda RFC’s coaches to share training methods, while also leading rugby sessions with around 75 of the Netherlands’ next generation of players.

Smith initiated the relationship between the two Clubs in 2017 through a friend he met at Nuneaton RFC, who now lives in Gouda.

Smith said: “The visit was a fantastic opportunity to spread the word about Wasps overseas, while also being able to share some of our coaching methods with a different rugby culture.

“The main difference between the two countries is that the Netherlands introduce contact at a younger age, and ages are grouped into two years as opposed to one.

“We place emphasis on developing young people’s rugby skills by playing games, as this is where their creativity comes out and teamwork is built.

“We are developing a really strong relationship with Gouda. They visited Ricoh Arena last year for a game, and we are looking at ways of opening up the benefits of our relationship with Gouda more widely.”