It’s National Coaching Week (3-9 June) and Rugby League clubs up and down the country are celebrating the contribution their coaches make to the game and to their local communities.
And one community club coach had an extra-special reason to celebrate. Gareth Jenkinson, under 14s coach at Orrell St James near Wigan, travelled to London (Friday 7 June) to take part in a UK Coaching-run event at which coaches from a wide range of sports came together to share experience and learn from some of the best in the business.
Accompanying Gareth was the former Great Britain international and Man of Steel Paul Sculthorpe, whose role as England Pathways Coach focuses on the development of country’s outstanding young players.
Paul Sculthorpe said: “Community clubs and dedicated volunteers like Gareth are the lifeblood of our game and make an enormous contribution to wider society as well. Working with the RFL Gareth has demonstrated a tremendous commitment to personal development, and this commitment pays dividends for his club, its players and Rugby League as a whole.”
The RFL’s coach developers programme reaches around 100 coaches nation-wide in the 12-14 age group. Gareth himself has been supported by Steve McCormack, the former Scotland head coach who now has wide-ranging roles across Rugby League.
Gareth added: “I’m thrilled to be involved, not just for myself but for my club and for community club coaches club coaches throughout Rugby League.
“Steve McCormack’s support has been incredible. He’s extremely knowledgeable and always willing to point me in the right direction, share new ideas and be a sounding board for me whenever I’m stuck with something. Thanks to Steve and the RFL’s development programme I’m constantly improving as a coach and our players will hopefully reap the rewards.”
The RFL is a partner organisation of National Coaching Week 2019, which gives clubs, coaches, community groups, education, businesses and the public opportunities to come together to showcase and explore how coaches play a role in building healthier, happier communities.