ACCELERATED DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS FINISH WITH A BANG
Sunday, 7 March 2021
Rugby is well and truly alive in the south.
Last Sunday saw the conclusion of the Accelerated Development Programs run by the Southern Districts Rugby Club (SDRC) and the Southern Rugby Alliance (SRA) and we decided to go out with a bang!
Joining us on the day were specialist rugby coaches Freddie Michalak (French International), Andy Marinos (Welsh International and Current CEO of Rugby Australia), Carlo Tizzano (NSW Waratahs), Joe Cotton (NSW Waratahs), Tim Rapp (Ex General Manager of NSW Rugby) and various Southern Districts Players (current and past) to teach the players tips and tricks specific to their position.
Players across the GADS, JEDS, JADS and RADS were split into groups based on their positions where they partook in skills and drills guided by some of the greats of our game. Opportunities like this are rare in rugby and the players soaked up every minute of the day. Needless to say, the players thoroughly enjoyed the session.
The program as a whole has been a resounding success, offering the participants a genuine pathway in rugby union with increased connectivity to the pinnacle of rugby in our region, Southern Districts Rugby Club. The feedback on the programs has been overwhelming, with parents of the players being highly impressed with the wholistic approach to the program. Players have not only received rugby development but have grown as people with a strong focus on our “Life Skills” component creating “better people, not just better rugby players."
Following the position specific training session on Sunday, the players attended Cronulla RSL for a Presentation Day to celebrate the conclusion of these amazing programs. We were fortunate enough to hear from Andy Marinos about the future of Australian Rugby, Brad Devine (President of SDRC) on the big plans for the club in 2021 and Simon Bennett (President of SRA) on supporting the development of rugby in our region.
The day also saw many awards handed out to players who best demonstrated the values of the program, including inaugural medals named after local juniors Ben Volavola (JEDS), Brand Paenga-Amosa (RADS), Rob Horne (JADS) and Memz Vuibureta Leivere’ (GADS). Rob and Memz attended on the day to hand out these awards, whilst Brandon and Ben delivered videos announcing the winners of the prestigious awards from Queensland and France.
Receiving these awards were Josh Low (RADS), Rex Prosser (JEDS), Sofie Macdonald (GADS) & Zion Poitaha (JADS).
Opportunities like these programs are not possible without the time and effort of volunteers. We would like to extend a huge thank you to the following people:
Andy Murphy (ADS Manager), Tracy Bush (ADS Manager), Ian Bond (Life Skills & GADS Coach), Michelle O’Sullivan (ADS Manager & Photographer), Chris Hilton-Beck (RADS Manager) & Ally Christie (ADS Manager)
Chris Nay (GADS Head Coach), Jordan McGregor (JADS/JEDS Head Coach), Brett Gallagher (RADS Head Coach) & Todd Louden (SDRC Director of Rugby)
Angus McGrath (GADS Coach), Memz (GADS Coach), Ella Fountaine (GADS Coach), Junior Ta’ale (GADS Coach), Jake Douglas (JADS Coach), Connor Weetman (JEDS Coach), Mark Bernays (JEDS Coach) Jason (RADS Coach), Don Picken (JADS Coach)
Jess Hart (S&C), Dough Brandtman (S&C)