Budding young rugby players from Togher Boys NS enjoying a coaching session as Nathan Cronin scores a spectacular try pursued by Ryan Cremin and Shane Millard. Photo: Brian Lougheed

The future is scrumming

A group of 16 young Leesiders have taken the first steps on their rugby coaching journeys thanks to a new youth programme.

The Youth Leadership Coaching Programme was designed together by Cork City Council, Cork Sports Partnership and Munster Rugby. This collaborative programme offers young people between the ages of 16 and 21 the opportunity to take part in a mixture of courses required to work in the sports industry.

All participants in the programme will be offered a coaching placement on Cork City Council’s Sports on the Green Series. Developed during Covid-19 restrictions, this series is aimed at children and young teenagers and takes place on the green areas of housing estates across Cork city. Through the programme, these young coaches will help younger boys and girls to develop their rugby skills, while having plenty of fun in the process.

The budding coaches will shadow experienced and professional Munster Rugby coaches while they deliver sessions to over 500 children in 40 housing estate greens this summer.

Dympna Murphy from Cork City Council’s Sports and Sustainability Section highlighted the value these young coaches will add to local communities around the city.

“By assisting with the Sports on the Green programme, these coaches will be delivering outdoor, healthy and fun rugby sessions to children on their doorstep,” she said.

James Kirby form Cork Sports Partnership added: “We are delighted to have supported this group of young people over the past five weeks in what is a comprehensive coaching programme, comprising a mixture of online and practical sessions where participants are actively engaged every step of the way.”

Also commenting on the programme was Ray Gadsden, Participation Programme Co-Ordinator with Munster Rugby, who said the talent displayed by the young coaches is a testament to their hard work and commitment to improving their skills.

“With increasing growth and demand, rugby coaches are in short supply, so there was a great appetite for such a comprehensive coaching programme in the city. While providing a cohort of young coaches the starting point in their coaching career, the doors are also being opened to increased participation in the sport,” he said.

For more, email laura_coady@corkcity.ie or jkirby@corksports.ie.