London Welsh re-double their efforts in youth development as the Colts system converts to Academy pathway!
London Welsh announce the formation of their ‘Colts Academy’ for the beginning of the 2021/22 Season.
The London Welsh Board is eager to ensure the continuity and development from Mini and Youth rugby through to the senior performance squads. With prudent financial management throughout the pandemic, the club have managed to make more efficient use of its resources to invest into the future stars of London Welsh and to enable them to have the perfect springboard into Senior rugby. The club has appointed two Head Coaches that are working towards their level 3 coaching qualifications and already come with experience of coaching rugby to either the Senior squad or the age grade groups.
Blake Mingay, former Sharks Academy, South Africa, via Richmond RFC will lead the Colts age group programme. Former London Welsh player, Andy Evans, Imperial College and Southwark Men’s Coach, will coach our U16’s. Both Coaches will be mentored by Director of Rugby Cai Griffiths and Performance squad senior coach, Steve Shingler; their coaching will be consistent with how the London Welsh senior squads will play to ensure that transition will be seamless when it happens. London Society Referee, Jamie Parr, will be supporting this group and London Welsh senior squad with his officiating expertise.
Our Colts coaches will be supported by many members of the senior squad who have already been volunteering with our Youth and inspiring our next generation of players. These are Rhys Howells, Rohan Pixhley, Morgan Browne, Ben Francis, Tom Baldwin and Dan Hiscocks who will be working towards their own coaching qualifications.
In addition, the club aims to have mid week training (U16-U18), with S & C and Physio all included as part of the package. A competitive fixture schedule in the Surrey Colts league where the aim is to have two squads participating, supplemented by some local friendlies at U18 and U17 level so that everyone who wants to play rugby gets sufficient game time.
To complement the on-field experience, our Careers Hub will also be at hand to offer career brainstorming opportunities and comprehensive guidance on career formulation from the many experienced mentors we have within the club; plus an opportunity to engage directly with some of the Welsh and English universities with which the Hub has developed a strong relationship.
Cai Griffiths, Director of Rugby “I am looking forward to developing the future stars of this club and I know it gives our supporters immense satisfaction to see players come through our Minis and Youth to play for our Senior squads. I am committed to come and watch their matches and to mentor the Coaches, with an ambition to have at least 5 players making senior rugby appearances for London Welsh every season.
Gareth Vaughan Jones, Director of Minis & Youth; We have a thriving Minis section and want to provide an ambitions environment for our Youth and to maximise every young adult’s opportunity to play for Senior Squad. This is not just about 1st XV rugby, it is about providing the players the chance, when ready, to play for the right senior squad for their ability. This age group has had quite a challenging last couple of years and we want to demonstrate to them, the real benefits of rugby both on and off the pitch; where they will really receive the full support of the club’
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