It has been almost a year that our Head of Rugby has been at the helm of the club, and since taking on the role it has been full steam ahead for Ashley. Helping to deliver various changes across the club and with many more to come, but for Ashley his outlook on how to move the club forward has very much been about community engagement,
"Due to the vast number of clubs and opportunities that children and adults have today within our community, the club cannot just sit back and expect people to turn up on their own accord. We have to engage with our community, promote our sport and hopefully then the sport and club will gain new players".
Over the past year the coaching team at ERFC have been busy going into schools delivering quality coaching sessions, tailored to fit the childrens and schools need. Currently two schools that are benefiting are The Eastbourne Academy and Pashley Down Infant School. Two opposite ends of the school age spectrum but the foucs is the same, delivery to engage and make the sessions fun for all.
Mrs Abdulla the Head of Physical Education at The Eastbourne Academy offered her views and that of a pupil of what Ashley and ERFC has done for them.
"We were lucky enough to have Ashley Wigman from the England RFU come in to The Eastbourne Academy to promote and develop rugby with our students. This historically has been a sport that we have had low participation in. Our students have always been quite apprehensive about rugby as it is a new sport for many, however Ashley made it inclusive, challenging and fun for all.
With the support of Ashley, Conrad Major (PE teacher) and the Eastbourne RFC we are proud to report that we have had 45-50 students from a range of ages/genders attending our Rugby developmental sessions here at the Academy, this is a significant improvement on previous years. The sessions have not only developed skills but also developed the core values embedded in Rugby (Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship).
The sessions that Ashley led did not only benefit the students but staff too. Members of the PE team were able to observe/join in, which developed subject knowledge and confidence in delivering key skills/concepts. This has made rugby more sustainable at our school as teachers are leading more clubs as a result.
"I really enjoyed trying something new. My teacher kept asking me to go to the taster sessions, I didnt think I'd like it as I play a lot of football, but went anyway. I loved the challenge of it and will now be joining the club at our school, I can't wait to try some scrummaging"
If you are a school or organisation that could benefit from engagement with the club please email firstname.lastname@example.org