Staff from the 24 professional clubs delivering the award-winning, England RL Embed the Pathway program descended on Warrington this week for the annual two-day Embed the Pathway conference.
Delegates heard keynote presentations from England RL staff, including Paul Sculthorpe MBE, RFL staff, keynote speakers and six clubs, aimed at developing a wider pool of young talent in the U12-U14 age groups, and late developing talent models for U15-U16s feeding into the Academy systems.
The Embed the Pathway programme aims to increase the number of quality 12-14 year old Rugby League players through the education and training of children's coaches and teachers.
The RFL Performance Department believes that every young player from 12 years old is on the England Talent Pathway.
The programme of Coach Education, Inclusive Player Profiling and 24 sessions can be used and adapted to meet the needs of all young players.
The two-day conference saw presentations on Talent Development, Movement and Mental Skills, Talent Transfer, The Player Development Framework, Effective Coach Education and case studies of best practice from Salford Red Devils, Warrington Wolves, St Helens, Castleford Tigers, Wakefield Trinity and Newcastle Thunder - along with planning and delivery support for 2017 and beyond.
Paul Sculthorpe MBE was amongst the key note speakers
Staff from 24 professional clubs share best practice ahead of 2017
The conference comes in the week that a research project commissioned by the RFL with the University of Bolton has drawn to a conclusion.
The full report is being written up but the findings were significant. The group who engaged with ETP for a full season improved by 10 per cent more than a control group who did not.
Embed the Pathway gained further positive news recently too with the inclusion of Lewis Peachey in the National Performance Training Squad.
Lewis comes from the Midlands and no scouting system identified him. He voluntarily attended an ETP Development Day in Castleford and is now a Castleford Scholar and has been selected for the National Performance Training Squad.
Without ETP, he would not be involved in the international programme.
Amazing and informative two days with some high quality practitioners making a difference Thank you all involved https://t.co/F3v7zBZ7hT— Tony Fretwell (@Fretters77) January 19, 2017
Program Lead and National Player Development Manager, Tony Fretwell, was delighted: "It has been a magnificent two days to establish the program for 2017 and thanks go to the clubs for committing their staff to invest their time to ETP.
"It's a pivotal year for the program as we have established a huge number of players, coaches and teachers to the program, but it is essential it reaches its objective of producing more better players in the 12-14s.
"The findings of the research project support this belief and to see Lewis progress to the elite program when he would probably otherwise have been missed, is a huge shot in the arm for the 250+ coaches, 106 schools, 43 clubs and 4,000 players engaged in ETP.
"This is a different approach to talent development and to see the last three years' work start to bear fruit is tremendously satisfying and energises us for work still to be done."
The next CPD opportunities for coaches are:
• Monday Feb 6 2017 - 6.00pm-9.00pm. North West. To be held at Golborne Parkside ARLFC, Rivington Avenue, Golborne, Warrington, Cheshire, WA3 3HG
• Monday Feb 13 2017 - 6pm–9pm. Yorkshire. To be held at Wakefield Trinity, Belle Vue, Doncaster Road, Wakefield WF1 5EY
Coaches, qualified to Level 2 or above, and Teachers, can engaged in ETP CPD by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more details on the program, please visit embedthepathway.co.uk.