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Colts Welcome

Rob Fidler and Dan Eddie Old Pats Colts

Last season

Colts is the transition from Junior to Adult rugby and as a club we work hard to encourage as many of the lads to keep playing after under 16’s. Last season we faced a significant challenge with 10 of the under 16’s squad from the year before gaining a place in the highest level of the Gloucester Academy and hence unable to play for their club. That left 17 lads from the squad who had won the County Cup in April, 3 of whom sadly decided to take a rest from rugby.

The great news is that 14 of the lads started colts and one of the lads who had given up started playing again at Christmas and played every fixture from then until the end of the season! The team played some fantastic rugby with fixtures most weekends. Beating Clifton away with a squad of only 15 was a highlight, particularly as they went on to win the County Cup!

During the season the lads only lost 3 or 4 games sadly the last being the County Cup Plate Final in April! Having given Minchinhampton a 27-5 lead at half-time the lads came roaring back eventually losing by a point 34-33 and with another 5 minutes they would have won.

This season

The coaches at under 16’s hand the boys over to the Colts coaching team who aim to develop the lads with a different set of voices and style that help the player adapt during the transition to Senior rugby. This season we have increased the Colts coaching team and it now includes:

  • Gethin Evans:  1st team second row
  • Rob Fidler:  ex-Gloucester, Bath, England and Old Pats second row who still plays for the vets and has coached at Pats for 10 years.
  • Dan Eddie: ex-Leeds fly-half who played against Rob Fidler in the premiership and coached the 1st team at Pats in National 2.
  • James Parr: who teaches at Tommy’s and is an excellent referee and supports the coaches on game days.

The coaches are supported by Mark Evans, Adam Nicholson and Matt Cape who act as Team Managers and contact point with parents
and players.

We anticipate a squad of around 30 players this season which will ensure that we are able to give the older players targeted exposure to Senior rugby and make sure the younger lads get support from the older lads and get lots of game time. We have a full fixture list every weekend from September 9th.

The aims of colts are simple – we are there to make sure that as many of the lads as possible continue to play after under 16’s and make the transition to University and Senior rugby. This to be done in a fun environment that starts to integrate them with senior players.

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U16 Welcome

Old Pats 2018-19 U16

Welcome

We would like to welcome you to the Old Patesians U16 squad for the 2018-19 season.

We have a large, successful and close-knit squad of players who come from a range of different schools within Cheltenham and further afield. Our ethos has always been is to give boys the opportunity to develop as players, be a member of an inclusive squad, play exciting rugby and be successful whatever their level of skill or experience. Above all else we want boys to enjoy playing a great game in a safe and friendly environment that will lead them next year into the Old Pats Colts and then ultimately senior rugby.

Last season

Last season we were very pleased to have a strong and sizeable squad. We had a successful and enjoyable season. The players took huge strides forward in skill levels, commitment and their understanding of the game and this resulted in some great wins and performances.

The culmination being the squad winning the County Cup final against an unbeaten Clifton team at Hartpury. This was the squad’s third final in as many years and it was great to win it outright after losing two years ago and then drawing last year. Unfortunately, the GRFU have decided not to stage the county cup this year and it will be sorely missed by many clubs and players who have relished the opportunity to play competitive rugby.

This season

This year we hope to hope to go even further in terms of growing the squad, developing skill levels and winning games albeit without the County Cup. We understand that we have a range of abilities within the squad but that all the boys should be given equal opportunities.  While this is not always as straightforward as it seems, we will work hard to make sure all players who show commitment get their share of game time in their chosen positions.

Key to the success of the squad will be doing the basics well and then building upon these.  At the start of the season there will be a clear focus on tackling using the correct technique, accuracy of passing and positioning and then developing the skills to play at speed. We will encourage the boys to understand different roles of and play in a number of positions.

Over the next few years the boys’ skill levels, size and strength will change greatly and so we want to ensure they understand all aspects of the game. This year we will be introducing the contested lineout as the final rule change.

One of our main objectives has always been to retain as many players as we can to play in the Old Pats Colts and then senior teams.

This season we will be having several sessions to help the boys familiarize themselves with the Colts set up to ensure a smooth transition at the end of the season. As coaches we are extremely keen, and look forward to, being involved and watching players from our squad play on into adulthood whether that be for the Colts, 1st XV or at whatever level.

The coaches

The coaching team consists of myself, Andy Park, as head coach, Jeremy Limbrick who is team manager, Andy Kennard and Will Cox.

We are also very lucky to have the support and coaching ability of Connor Thompson who is an established Old Pats first team player. Between us we have a range of rugby experience including one of our coaching team playing representative rugby at a high level.

Two of us have completed our RFU level 2 coaching badges and one has completed an RFU refereeing course.

When and where

On Sundays we will be situated at St Edwards School in Sixways with sessions running between 10.00am and 11.30am. We also run a mid-week training and skills session at the Old Pats club on a Wednesday between 6.00 and 7.00pm.

Andy Park 2018-19 U16 Head Coach

Our boys come from a wide range of different local schools and we pride ourselves on welcoming new players in to a friendly and supportive squad. If you are interested in being part of the Old Pats U16 squad and would like more information please do not hesitate to contact me or come along either on a Sunday or Wednesday to see how we operate.

Andy

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U15 Welcome

2018-19 U15's Head Coach Eddie

Last season

This time last year we predicted a step up in physicality as the boys entered the U14 season.  We weren’t wrong and saw plenty of contests against physically big and demanding teams. Whilst we were often the smaller team on the pitch, a combination of fitness, ability and Old Pats spirit meant that we had some great wins through the season. Sadly, having battled our way out of a particularly tough group, our County Cup run was brought to an end by Stroud. Across the squad, we had sixty players registered, and worked hard to achieve a balance of fixtures that enabled all boys to play suitably competitive games. A more hands-off coaching approach worked well, with players developing their game sense and resilience as a result of having to think for themselves.

This season

We expect the U15 season to be a challenging one, as the greater physicality that we saw last year is combined with increased speed and game awareness.

With physicality and speed inevitably come knocks and injuries. With boys playing rugby (and other sports) at school, parents play a vital role in making sure that the club and/or school are aware of any injuries.

This is especially important in the case of a concussion where strict protocols exist around the return to play. It’s not up to the school to inform the club (or vice versa); parents must communicate the information. For any injury occurring away from Old Pats, please inform the Team Manager (James Godden). For any injury occurring at Old Pats, please inform the school (and any other sports clubs as necessary).

Despite GRFU sadly deciding to knock the County Cup on the head this season, we have a fixtures list full of challenges for the boys and we can look forward to some thrilling  games once again. With games extending to 30 minutes per half, we will be putting together larger squads for each fixture. This inevitably means that some boys will spend time on the bench; we will work hard to rotate players so that everyone gets a fair crack of the whip. This will also give us the opportunity to try different pairings and/or player positions. Looking at our fixtures, there is a mix of some very strong teams, some more middling clubs and a few development sides. This enables us to give players at all levels the chance to play for Old Pats. We will continue to select players in line with our 3A ethos of Attendance, Attitude and Ability whilst doing our best to ensure that games remain challenging but safe for all involved. At the very end of last season, we put a squad of players into the Cirencester 7s competition. This was a great success and we’ll look to do more of these competitions as U15s. These tend to take place in the second half of the season.

Aside from longer matches, the only significant rule change is the introduction of lifting in the line-out. To assist with boys learning this skill in safety, lineouts remain uncontested (and lifting is optional). However, this is a key skill for forwards to master as they progress to U16s and beyond.

When and where

Once again, we’re delighted to be training and playing our home games on Sunday mornings at Balcarras, 930 to 1100. We may run some midweek and/or Saturday morning sessions, but we know that not all boys will be able to attend and attendance won’t be compulsory.

The coaches and I look forward to another enjoyable season with you all. Thanks once again for your fantastic support.

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U14 Welcome

2018-19 U14 Coaches 2

Last season

A big thanks to the coaching team for what was another successful season during 2017/18. We successfully ran two ‘A’ teams with plenty of rugby for all. We struggled slightly with finding competitions with the County Cup electing to be a non competitive event for the U13 age group and it has been dropped completely at U14. This said, we had plenty of competitive rugby in the diary and won a lot more than we lost.

We continued to see the boys develop with their rugby, spending time focused on the separate roles between backs and forwards, strong rucking and turn over at the breakdown along with handling skills and moving the ball. As one of our referees I can say with absolute certainty that we saw the pace the boys are able to play at increase significantly through last season, making for some genuinely exciting rugby across the age group.

This season

As we move to U14’s (how did that happen!!) , we see the addition of the last two players to the squad , the #6 and #7 along with pick and go from the back of the scrum, uncontested line outs, conversions and yellow cards with a 5 minute sin bin…so in short we’re pretty much there with full rugby rules.

We want to play the game at a very high tempo and the key to this is to have a very fit squad. We will be introducing more two line attack formations, which will require not only fit players but thinking players. I would urge the boys to watch lots of video`s based on their positions, but also be flexible to change position on the field. We don`t want wingers staying on the wings and seeing the ball once or twice a game, we want to see boys hunting for the ball, getting involved in the game. The front five will also get lots of opportunity to run with the ball as we expand our game so they will require the fitness levels to do this.

We anticipate having around 36 boys signed up for the 2018/19 season, and as such feel that we will struggle to field 2 x 15 a side teams this season with subs. Instead we have elected to book fixtures for every weekend and select a team for each Sunday to provide matched competition, the remaining boys will have training session.

We have lots of games planned for next season and attendance will be key to selection and understanding the style of rugby we will be trying to play. Good luck for the coming season.

Coaches

The 2018/19 season coaching team is:

Dave Parry – Head Coach
Mat Jordan – Team Manager and Ref
Jamie Dundas – Communications
Terry Payne – Coach
Neil McDonald – Coach
Matt Blewett – Coach
Nico Goymer – Coach

When and where

We will once again be playing at Bournside this season, meet time Sunday at 9.30am with a finish between 11 and 11.30am (weather dependant). We look forward to seeing you all, kicking off the new season Sunday September 2nd.

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U13 Welcome

2018-19 U13's Training with Alistair Armstrong

Last Season

The 2017/18 season saw the then U12’s with a full compliment of 60 players and eleven coaches. We redesigned our structure reducing the number of squads from four to three. This was to accommodate the increase to twelve players per team. Initially, as we expected, the boys took a few weeks to settle into their new set up. However with hard work and determination they soon turned the corner and played fantastic rugby throughout the season, in the brand that we want to play, going forwards at pace with quick ball distribution.

We had a full fixture list and participated in the County Festival, two end of season tournaments, and a full end of season tour to Beaconsfield and Thorpe Park! That tour took every player that wished to go, in total 40 players and their parents, a great turnout and loads of fun for all. We had great results in all the tournaments, narrowly missing out on winning the Berry Hill tournament by one try, and winning the Droitwich Tournament.  The rugby played on tour was superb and we received numerous positive comments from our opposition not only on our style but also how our all inclusive structure still generated talented players, excellent teams and a very high standard of rugby.

2018-19 U13's Training
2018-19 U13's Training 2

This Season

We now look forward to the new season as U13’s. I fully anticipate, once again, having our maximum of 60 players in the age group.  The squads will remain the same although we will always seek to ensure that they are balanced and have sufficient players for each position. Therefore as the season progresses there is always the chance that we may need to move a few players around.

The coaches will remain the same for each squad. This season we will see an increase in playing numbers to 13 players per team. We will add a number eight to the pack and we will also see the introduction of pushing at the scrum.  This will be well managed and practised, using the experiences of our forwards coaches, and where necessary enlisting the help of other coaches across the Junior section.

Whilst the GRFU have chosen not to run a County competition this season, we have a full and varied fixture list balanced with training sessions to continue player development and fitness. As always we will look to play in some end of season tournaments. Running three 20 player squads is a challenge.  Therefore we ask for commitment from all our players to attend all our sessions. Match day squads will always be selected using the club ethos, which is based around the commitment of players and their attitude when training and playing. Please remember if your child isn’t at our sessions it impacts on all the other players and can affect fixtures.

When and where

We will continue to train and play home fixtures at Reeves Fields, Old Bath Road, Cheltenham. Sessions will generally be between 10.15am and 11.30am. As always we expect the highest standards of our players in their attitude to coaches and our opposition.

On behalf of all the U13 coaches we look forward to another great season with the boys and seeing them develop as players and young people.

Featured sponsor

Mack Residential

Kelan Loughnane owner of Mack Residential and parent of a U13 player helps organise U13 tours, and is a significant sponsor of Old Pats Juniors.

Mack Residential specialise in sales and lettings in Cheltenham as well as significant investment in public-sector housing across the UK

Looking for a property or thinking of selling then go to www.mackresidential.com/ for more information.

Featured sponsor

Arnica Dental Care

Laurence Hale, co-owner of Arnica Dental Care and parent of U13 player helps Alistair manage our U13 age group as well as managing Old Pats Juniors Marketing Communications.

Arnica Dental Care is Old Pats’ very local full-service dental practice offering general, cosmetic and dental implant dentistry. Arnica is also Old Pats’ official mouthguard supplier.

To find out more about how Arnica can provide you and your family with exceptional-quality treatment and care the gentle way go to www.arnicadentalcare.co.uk 

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U12 Welcome

Head Coach Chris Woodward

Welcome from Head Coach Chris Woodward (pictured)

Last season

Our 2017-18 season of U11’s was a fantastic success with a squad of 46 players really coming together and developing not only their core skills but also their commitment to each other and passion for both rugby and the Old Pats. The focus on core skills and inclusivity saw each squad win more games than they lost and ensured that every player developed the fundamentals needed to continue to enjoy rugby for many years.

Our first end of season tour saw 33 players and their parents off to the ever popular and accommodating UNISON Croyde Bay. The obligatory Fish and Chips at Squires on the way down and day on the beach was topped off by a fantastic introduction to the ‘tour court’. With all this fun, the rugby could have become secondary but a fabulous festival day at Cheddar on the way home saw two well balanced teams play 10 competitive games and only lose once. This really highlighted the success of the squad approach as these
teams were created new for the festival and all players worked together, some for the first time, to deliver the fantastic outcome. Well done everyone.

This season

Our U12’s playing season will bring new challenges and opportunities as we progress through the RFU graduated introduction of Laws and skills. The main changes for this year will be

The main impact of rules added this year will be a greater need for communication and decision making alongside the application of core skills. We will continue to encourage all players to explore their potential in a number of positions whilst adding some structured play to each of the squads. Passing and movement remains our key threat and all players will need to improve their ball handling and vision as the season progresses.

We will continue with our integrated policy with three equal squads. As our players move from their respective junior schools to secondary school it is great to hear them talk about the ‘rugby mates’ they will share classes with and play in the school team with and this level of inclusivity is a key measure to our success.

Training will become a little more focuse dwith the expectation that all players will be stretched to the limits of their ability. Each player should arrive on Sunday for training or a game with the attitude that they are going to be the best version of themselves, give their all and have some fun, and as coaches we will provide the framework for them to continue to develop.

12 Rules that impact on play

2018-19 U12 Training
  • 12 players on pitch
  • Unlimited numbers at ruck and maul
  • Handoff below the armpits
  • 5 man scrum (nearest 5), contested hook
  • Pick and Go Option from ruck
  • Positional play and structure
  • Decision making and when to compete,
  • Introduction of a rolling maul, Pods and impact
  • Tackle low and in pairs, ball carrying and off-loading
  • More space around the park at scrum time
  • Decision making and tactics

Location and fixtures

This year our home ground we will be Reeves Field (Cheltenham College pitches by the Tennis club). Training will be Sunday mornings 10am-12pm. The College sports hall parking (Thirlestaine Road) is only a 2 minute walk and is available to us as parking on the road is limited (we must keep all local stakeholders happy). The coffee shop at Cox’s Meadow have agreed to open for the hardy spectators as the season progresses – feel free to grab an extra coffee for the coaches I promise no offence will be taken! On match days post-match food and hospitality will be at the Old Pats club house.

Coaching Team

Andy (loud) and Chris (calm) will continue to support the squad as Head Coaches alongside regulars Hein, Andy (little one) Dan, Bill, Mark, Lyndon, and Rob (sometimes). With Stuart Smith volunteering to add his insight and energy we will continue to have a great coaching squad. If any other parents wish to get involve then please let Andy or Chris know, there are lots of roles. As our new Social Manager Jason Wilson will tell you a lack of rugby experience is no excuse to not get involved. Anyone who feels able to support us with team management and communications would be eagerly welcomed.

We are looking forward to the season with excitement to see how everyone will develop over this year and to see what the squad can achieve as Old Pats Under 12s.

2018-19 U12 Training 2
2018-19 U12 Training 3
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U11 Welcome

2018-19 U11 Team Pick

Welcome from Head Coach Matt Dawson

Welcome to the Old Pats U11s 2018/19. It is hard to believe that we are heading into our third season of competitive rugby and are still full to the brim with 47 players that are continuing our collective journey together.

Last season

As U10s we put out four mixed ability squads and competed with the best sides in the area who often stream their teams. The most rewarding aspect of our journey has been witnessing boys from local schools rubbing shoulders together every Sunday making friendships that will last a lifetime. Last season saw our boys excel in two areas: ball handling and rucking.

Our training is based around fast paced games that have rules that help develop specific skills. This approach is fun and also allows the boys to focus on areas that need developing.

This season

We will train the players to retain possession with their kicking game and not to give the ball away! Training this season will see the U11s break into three groups based on their tackling ability. These groups will allow fluid movement between them depending on progress and allow the players to gain confidence in the contact area around boys with similar ability.

The boys will always come back to their mixed ability squads to play.

The new rule changes as U11s will see us play to the following regulations:

  • Team numbers: a maximum of 9-a-side
  • Maximum pitch size: 60 metres x 43 metres
  • Ball Size: 4
  • Maximum minutes each half: 20
  • Introduction of the contested strike
  • Nearest 3 players in a scrum
  • Contest for the ball (2 players v 2 players)
  • Introduction of tactical kicking and kicking restarts

Last year highlighted to me that some boys still need their confidence building in the contact area. Because some boys in each of the squads ended up doing the majority of the tackling, we have reserved the right to reward these boys by allowing them to play in 5 of the 25 fixtures as a collective – to reward them for their efforts and also to offer an incentive to those wanting to play in The Land Rover Cup where we will field two sides. When they move to their secondary schools as U12s, their sides will be streamed. But we will continue to play as a mixed ability group in the majority of our fixtures.

At present we are running a tag session during the summer months and will look to keep the midweek session going until the clocks change at half-term.

Coaches

Head coach is Matt Dawson. Supporting Matt, we are extremely lucky to have a cohort of coaches and managers who are fantastic at their jobs. Five of our coaches: Gary Stevens, Pete Jones, Simon Ross, Simon Davies and Andy Edwards have just passed their Level 2 RFU coaching badges making our age-group the most qualified within the Old Pats set up. We also have Sally and Gemma: two first class managers who put in a lot of time and effort organising fixtures, team lists, availability, liaising with the University over the pitches and match teas as well as keeping the coaches in check! It is vital that standards are upheld on and off the pitch and we operate a three strikes and out rule to anyone that uses our club sporadically and on their terms.

When and where

As U11s, we will continue to train and play at The Park Campus and look forward to joining forces with the U10s who will be training there with us. We cannot wait to rub shoulders with them and look forward to making new friends.  Training will be 10am to 12pm with the Parkrun starting at 930am.  Finally, a thank you to our parental body who support the boys the right way. I want to thank you the way you support ALL of the boys with a wonderful touchline spirit. We look forward to the new season.

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U10 Welcome

Old Pats Coach Richard Brock

Welcome from Head Coach Richard Brock (Pictured) and Team Manager Neil Hamilton

Last Season

Last season was a great success. It was a learning curve for all and included many successful fixtures, festivals and training sessions. The progress and the obvious enjoyment the boys showed was a pleasure to be part of.

Old Pats core ethos is to encourage children to develop as rugby and team players throughout their time with us with the objective that they maintain their participation in the sport once they become an adult. Success is measured by the number of children who continue to play in adulthood irrespective of the club or the standard they play at. Playing success and trophies are a by-product of this objective not the objective itself. I know this coming season will be even stronger with more progression and enjoyment.

2018-19 U10
2018-19 U10

This Season

We currently have a squad of 44 players, which we hope to grow over the season with new recruits. Following the success of last year’s 3 teams of 14 or 15 per team, we shall stay with the same format moving into the new season.

This works particularly well when Old Pats play the smaller clubs across the County. I can understand the frustration this might cause with rotation of the players but this approach is in line with the ethos of our club.

As the Under 10’s progress there are a few more aspects of the game introduced as we move up to 8 a side. The changes to the regulations for next season are listed below.

  • Team numbers: a maximum of 8-a-side
  • Maximum pitch size: 60 metres x 35 metres
  • Ball Size: 4
  • Maximum minutes each half: 15
  • Introduction of uncontested scrum
  • Nearest 3 players in a scrum (all players trained, later introduce this to player specialisation)
  • Contest for the ball (1 player v 1 player)
  • Introduction of Maul
  • Introduction of Ruck

During the season we are hoping to have a tour around Easter along with some other events such as BBQ’s and watching Gloucester at Kingsholm.

The Coaches

Under 10’s shall have the same number of coaches for next season. Our coaches volunteer their time and effort into the role and this involves more than the hour and a half on a Sunday morning. Coaches shall all be attending RFU training courses to ensure we improve and more importantly the boys enjoy and develop throughout the season.

Team Manager/Coach: Neil Hamilton
Head Coach: Richard Brock
Coach: John Boyes
Coach: Fraser Borthwick
Coach; Stephen Manton
Coach: Nick Lewis
Coach: Gareth Parry
Coach: Roger Morton
Coach: Francois Lauriault
Coach: Paul Aberthery
Coach: Alex Taylor
Coach: Chris (Benny) Hill

When and where

Location for this season we will be at The Park Campus from 10 – 11:30 every Sunday morning starting from September 16th. This new location has many more facilities than last season. The under 10’s shall play and train alongside the under 11’s which helps build the club spirit. Food shall be served after matches at The Park Campus.

Please ensure all players are ready to play at 10:00 with boots and gum shields. Remember:no gumshield no game!

We shall conduct a register for each team at the start of each session, this is to keep a record of attendance which will be used for selection for matches and festivals. It is vital that you are present to collect your child at the end of the session.

Please ensure all communication is via Neil Hamilton our Team Manager

Following on from the progress and success of our first season we are all looking forward to the new season starting, let’s just hope we have less snow this season! Currently we have fixtures and festivals booked from October on-wards. Thank you all for your commitment during last season and let’s go and enjoy the new season.

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Introducing the Half Game

Half Game Rule

This season the RFU are introducing an initiative called Half a Game. The purpose is to ensure that all age grade players participate in rugby at club,
college, school and academy levels. The initiative is supported by research from around the world and the United Kingdom and will be mandatory as of next season, however the Old Pats Juniors have unanimously agreed to implement Half a Game as of the 2018/19 season. We fully support the drive that all our players will be involved in at least half a game when we play our fixtures.

We will communicate with our opposition to inform them that we intend to play according to the Half a Game criteria, with the intention that we will create well balanced and competitive matches. Although we cannot force other clubs to do the same, we would hope that they too see the benefit of the initiative and comply. If you have any questions regarding the scheme please discuss them with your age group coach.

 

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Safeguarding Update

Safeguarding with Nick Lewis

TREDS: Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship.

Safeguarding is a proactive concept based around promoting the child’s welfare in every way. It means protecting children and young people from abuse and neglect but stretches much further to include all that we can do to ensure their appropriate development and to maximise life opportunities. Put simply, safeguarding is about all the things we do to create child centred rugby and to prevent
problems arising.

The 2018/19 season will see a number of positive developments with the Old Pats Safeguarding team and the work we undertake.

The Club Safeguarding Officer, Nick Lewis, has been joined by 2 new assistant safeguarding officers, Paula Phillips and Amanda Hazeldine. Paula lives in Winchcombe and may be familiar to older lad’s parents as her Son, Beck has progressed from the Colts to Senior rugby having made a number of 1st XV appearances already. Paula has always had a love for both codes of rugby, growing up in the land of rugby league (surrounded by St Helens, Widnes and Warrington) but has been a rugby union fan for the last 8 years since Beck started playing.

Amanda lives in Charlton Kings with her two boys, Jules (U11) and Lisle (rugby tot) and her husband Phil. Amanda is an engineer and works in Gloucester. She also runs a mixed social hockey team called winner, winner chicken dinner, and is usually carrying an injury of some sort. She is a Welsh rugby supporter having grown up in Swansea.

Both Amanda and Paula will be visible throughout the season visiting the various age groups to support the coaches and players.
Injuries Injury prevention and post injury management is one specific subject we will be focusing on along with concussion at the top of the list.

All coaches are required to complete the RFU’s online “Headcase” course but we will want better communication with Parents and Schools. It is vitally important that Parents inform their respective Team Manager or Head Coach if their Child has had a head knock in the week leading up to Sunday training / playing.

More information can be found here: http://www.englandrugby.com/my-rugby/players/player-health/concussion-headcase/players-andparents/

In the event of an injury occurring during an Old Pats training session or match, Team Managers will make contact with parents to inform them of that injury. We will require updates from parents with regard to the player’s recovery and of informing their child’s school or any other sports clubs that they are involved in of any injuries or concerns that affect the players ability to partake in sport. Likewise we expect to be informed of any injuries that will affect the player when attending Old Pats sessions especially if they have had any suspected concussion or head knocks in the week leading up to playing and training. Please do not push your child in to returning too early following injury. We will, where necessary, assess a player on their return and take any appropriate action we see fit.

Rugby union is a powerful and positive influence where enjoyment goes hand in hand with achievement. The RFU and Old Patesians RFC believe that for the game to thrive we must look after the children who play rugby as they are the future of this fantastic sport. We all want the rugby environment to be a safe and happy one and as such their welfare and wellbeing is fundamental. And it’s our intention that everyone that a child comes into contact with can act as a positive role model.

Under our care, we work hard to impart these values, so that as a child develops skills such as confidence, commitment and concern for others,
they are well positioned to become leaders for the future.

To achieve this, it’s essential that we provide them with a positive experience and give them the opportunity to achieve their true potential. We have a duty and commitment at Old Pats to ensure that Safeguarding of all within our care is a priority and that each child’s rugby experience is the very best that it can be.

DBS

The Disclosure & Barring Service is utilised by the RFU to operate and manage a criminal record checking process for those working with children or vulnerable adults. The DBS runs checks at three different levels providing information on an individual’s criminal records.

Old Pats Safeguarding team, working with the RFU, manages the DBS checking process and our policy is to ensure all coaches have up to date DBS
Certificates. We have improved the DBS application process to ensure all coaches have appropriate DBS in place and attend relevant courses from Play it Safe to First Aid to Referee and enhancing coaching qualifications.

The RFU Safeguarding Policy Guidance & Procedures is fully endorsed and forms the very foundations ofthe way we operate as a Club and as individuals. This Policy statement is based on the following key principles:

  • The welfare of the child is paramount
  • All participants regardless of age, gender, ability
    or disability, race, faith, size, language or sexual
    identity, have the right to protection from harm
  • All allegations, suspicions of harm and concerns will
    be taken seriously and responded to swiftly, fairly
    and appropriately
  • Everyone will work in partnership to promote the
    welfare, health and development of children

In cases of possible abuse of any kind we act swiftly, working in partnership with police, social services and the RFU Safeguarding teams to protect an individual or individuals from harm. We have robust safeguarding procedures to manage these situations with confidence and efficiency.

This Policy and the following Guidance and Procedures are based on the principle of empowering children and young people. The onus is on everyone who has contact with children and young people to protect them from harm as well as to create a positive environment in which to participate. Based on best practice, the Policy provides information about abuse, advice on identifying problems, as well as policies and procedures for use by those involved in delivering rugby union.

The RFU provides support for clubs, assisting them in making safer recruitment decisions for those involved with young people, systems for dealing with allegations or concerns and training programs for all working with young players, as well as effective systems for working with other relevant agencies. Old Pats very much appreciates the army of volunteers who give up their time to organise mini and youth rugby and strive to provide the highest standards of care for children in a safe and enjoyable environment however the volunteers need to be aware of their responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and how they should respond to child protection concerns by working with the Safeguarding Officers.

You can find the RFU Safeguarding Policy and guidance here: http://www.englandrugby.com/governance/safeguarding/

At the time of writing the Safeguarding team are reviewing and where appropriate amending the Club’s various Policy’s, namely, Social Media, Tour, Player / Parent and Coach code of conduct together with updating expectations  for pitch side behaviour and respect of officials, opposition parents, players and coaches alike.

Please contact one of the CSO team for further information or if you have any questions or concerns that you would like to discuss.

Contact details:

Old Patesians RFC Safeguarding Officers
Club Safeguarding Officer (CSO)
Nick Lewis
Mobile: (Use website contact form)
Email: (Use website contact form)

Assistant Club Safeguarding Officer
Amanda Hazeldine
Mobile: (Use website contact form)
Email: (Use website contact form)

Assistant (Use website contact form)
Paula Phillips
Mobile:07487 697 411
Email: (Use website contact form)

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Summer Ball 2018

2018 Summer Ball

Our third Summer Ball in the Princess Hall at CLC didn’t disappoint!

This year, over 170 attended the Ball from all age groups creating a vibrant and successful evening. The weather once again was kind to us and guests enjoyed drinks in the garden before sitting down to a delicious 3-course meal provided by In the Frame Catering. As in previous years, the meal was served by our very own Old Pats players led by Molly Cape.

A huge thank you for helping the evening run so smoothly. Entertainment during and after
the meal included a magician and juggler as well as the popular Jim of MonteCarlo
Entertainment.

Thank you to the team who came to set up on the day and Matt Cape for being at the helm organising the event.

Valuable funds were raised to assist the Juniors for this coming season.

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Premiership 7’s Plate Final 2018

Premiership 7's final

The Premiership season finishes with the Premiership Final and the Premiership 7’s. The 7’s is a great opportunity for the Premiership sides to give their top future talent exposure and playing experience.

Participating Premiership clubs have squads of 12 players with round robin groups on the Friday and plate and cup quarter, semis and finals on Saturday. In recent seasons Gloucester have proven the benefits of blooding their next crop of 1st team squad players in this tournament.

With this in mind it is a fantastic achievement that 4 players within the 12 man squad were products of the Old Pats Juniors.

Will Safe who at 21 was the oldest of the 4 Pats lads has had a fantastic season at Gloucester and was deservedly rewarded with a full senior contract for the coming season. He is still an active Old Pat as a key part of the 1st team coaching team.

Ewan Fenley & Jake Morris who are both 18 would still have been eligible for the colts last season however featured for Gloucester & Hartpury last season and both have been rewarded with Senior Academy Contracts. They are both sure to feature strongly again this season
following their first pre-season as part of the senior squad.

The youngest of the group was Isaac Marsh who at only 17 would still be a Colt next season! He was part of the England under 17’s team last season and will no doubt feature for Gloucester & Hartpury this coming season. Gloucester won the Premiership 7’s plate final and at one point all 4 of the Old Pats players were on the pitch together which was fantastic to see. We wish them all well for the new season and look forward to seeing them around the club.

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2018-19 season welcome from Club Captain

Connor Thompson Club Capatain

May I take this opportunity to welcome everyone to the new season. Hopefully it is as successful as last year. It is an honour to be Club Captain of such a fantastic club; one which is progressing on and off the pitch across both Junior and Senior Sections. The numbers participating is a testament to the commitment of the players, coaches, managers, parents and supporters – something that other clubs in the area should be enviable of.

Captain’s comment

There is no job specification in my role of Club Captain. My role focuses on the off-field things in trying to support the Coaching Team and
Management, 1st XV Captain and Committee. The role has grown to include supporting the sponsorship committee, off-field support, social media, website, membership, kit, working with the Juniors… all sorts! My time at Old Pats started in the Senior section as I moved here for University. However my previous Club Hertford valued the Junior Section, very much like the Pats. I loved my time in Junior rugby and am still very good friends with the guys I played rugby with. We were a successful age group, winning 2 County Cups and losing in 2 finals, going on a few tours… having a great laugh along the way.

The importance of a good Junior Section to keep players coming through to the Seniors, and higher achievements, is imperative to the success of any club. This is why I enjoy coaching in the Juniors because I know it is supporting the future of the Club. The reason Old Pats is successful is because of this; with over 25 players in the Seniors coming through the Junior ranks.Good luck to all the Juniors in this coming
season!

Connor Thompson

Club Captain

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2018-19 season welcome from Junior Chairman

Alistair Armstrong Old Patesians RFC Junior Chairman

Many of you will know that this season, I have taken on the role of Junior Chairman from Matt Cape. On behalf of the club I wish to begin by thanking Matt for the work and time he has dedicated to the Juniors in the past five years.

Matt has overseen an extremely successful period for the Juniors on and off the pitch. Through his hard work we have established ourselves as the largest Junior section in the County. I am pleased to say that Matt will continue to work with us helping out with the Colts.

Like Matt, I am extremely keen to see as many children involved in playing rugby at the club as is possible. It is vital that we develop the children from tag through to the Colts in order to provide players for all the senior teams at the club. We are focused on developing our players, whatever their skill level, so that they enjoy their rugby and their time with teammates. Our ethos of inclusivity succeeds in achieving these aims. We appreciate that different players develop at different times. All our coaches understand this and are dedicated to the development of your child on the rugby pitch.

Success is measured in many different ways and not only by the games and trophies that we win, which we do, but our greatest success is having almost 600 hundred registered Mini and Junior players.

This coming season will see our younger players once again involved in the County Festivals for the U9-U12 age groups. However the GRFU will not be running competitions for the U13 – U16 age groups.

They are conducting a review of these competitions and will make a decision later in the season as to their future.

We are successful in many other ways. Our Safeguarding team ensure that we have all the relevant measures in place so that the environment your children play in is safe.

We have marketing experts who strive to identify sponsors and market the benefits of our club. We have administrators who deal with the RFU, player registration, finance and fund raising. All these people contribute significantly to the success of our club.

We also have a fantastic and generous group of sponsors. Without their commitment to the Junior section we would not achieve all that we have. Should you need any of their services please think of them first.

We are also grateful to all the schools and Gloucestershire University who allow us to use their facilities. Without these pitches we could not function as a club.

The conclusion of the season saw the fourth annual Junior Summer Ball. I am grateful to all those who helped organise the event and to the 170 people who attended. This event raises vital funds for the club and you can read about it elsewhere in this Welcome. This year we will be using some of the funds raised by the Summer Ball to provide a subsidy to each registered player to purchase an item of playing kit.

The forthcoming season again promises to be exciting for the club. The first team are promoted and playing in the South West Premier Division and the Junior section will do all they can to support their efforts in this league.

In November we will welcome the new U9’s to the Junior section. I am confident that with the support of all the coaches, administrators and supporters the juniors will go from strength to strength. I wish all our players and coaches success for the new season ahead and I hope that your children have as much enjoyment in the forthcoming months as they did last season.

Alistair Armstrong – Junior Chairman

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