Roaring Young Dragons

For the first time in their history The Dragons have been running summer skills camps. These kicked off last week and have proved very successful.

Kath McCarthy | 05/08/2005

For the first time in their history The Dragons have been running summer skills camps. These kicked off last week and have proved very successful. The Community Department at the Dragons are running four three days camps and two one day sessions which will see over 250 youngsters receive coaching and meet The Dragons players.

So far the camps have been blessed with sunshine and the youngsters have enjoyed an intensive development programme to improve their agility, handling, decision-making and contact skills, while also enhancing their confidence and all round knowledge of the game. Enjoying the camps so far have been 8, 9, 10 and 11 year olds who have worked tirelessly throughout and were rewarded for their efforts with a certificate, t-shirt and a complimentary match ticket so they can see the players they rubbed shoulders with during the course in action at Rodney Parade during the season.

The camps have attracted youngsters from all corners of the Region with aspiring players travelling from Abersychan, Hereford, Monmouth, Pontypool, Abergavenny, Blackwood, Cardiff and Brynmawr. “The camps are proving to be a resounding success,” commented Dragons Community Manager Mike Sage. “All the youngsters are enjoying themselves, improving their skill levels beyond all our expectations and one of the champagne moments is that the children get to have lunch with The Dragons players. The Dragons and youngsters share the same dining room and eat their lunch together on the same tables. It is hard to see who are the bigger kids, the players or the children! Eating, chatting and gaining the squads autographs is naturally proving memorable to all the youngsters.”

Throughout the course the children also get to meet a number of star Dragons players, who help out with the skills sessions and also present the youngsters with their certificates. Helping out with the camps have been Ceri Sweeney, Ian Gough, Nathan Brew, Steve Jones, Chris Anthony, Ben Thomson, James Ireland and Dan Grrifiths.

Mike Sage also highlighted another pleasing aspect from the courses; “We have established links with local club coaches, who have attended the courses not only to watch their child’s development but to pick up coaching tips to improve their own abilities. Such was the positive impact of the camp, the local coaches have offered their services for future camps with the aim of raising the standard of rugby within our Region.”

Already The Dragons community department are receiving positive feedback with parent Jon Trigwell writing, “I just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you to you and your team for the fantastic three day "Summer Rugby Course". I would like to thank you as a parent of my rugby mad son Callum who had a fantastic time and hasn't stopped talking about what he learned and how he had lunch with the Dragons. All I seem to hear at the moment is "Mike said this or Janice said that". I also would like to say thank you on behalf of Cwmbran RFC Minis and Juniors U9's who had 5 members attend the course and the parents have ask me to pass on their thanks for a wonderful time had by them all. And finally I would like to say a personal thank you from myself, (who took 3 days off to watch the training) for the opportunity to watch you and your team work with the kids and I have learned a lot of useful tips that I will be able to integrate into my coaching in the future and should you ever need coaches to assist in anyway in the future I would relish the opportunity to be involved with yourself and your team. Mike you, your team and the Dragons should be very proud of the work and enthusiasm that went into the event and I look forward to involving not only my own son, but I'm sure more of the Cwmbran Minis and Juniors in any future courses. Once again thank you from me, my son Callum and the rest of the Cwmbran RFC Minis that attended.”

The success is set to continue throughout the month of August with the next Dragons skills camp kicking off next Monday (15th August) for 12 and 14 year olds, this camp is full. However, limited places are available on the three-day course between the 24th and 26th August for 10/11 year olds at Rodney Parade. “Amongst the three-day camps we have developed further links with the local clubs in the Region via the one-day camps. We have places available on the camps at Monmouth RFC (August 19th) for 10 and 11 year olds and at Cross Keys (August 31st) for 12-14 year olds,” concluded Mike.

For more information contact Mike Sage on 01633 674954.

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