A Touch of Class

AKS Summer touch rugby has been underway this half term with students from Year 7 to 13 taking part, and proving to be a hotbed of development for the younger years. With the outgoing Year 13 having been the most successful rugby team, the school has seen for some years, the knowledge and experience that they are imparting on the younger players is invaluable in the development of individuals and for AKS rugby in the future.  Charlie, our current 1st XV Vice Captain, shares this account of his rugby experience at AKS with us for the student blog of the week.

Character, commitment and ability to adapt were key factors as to why the Arnold and KEQMS boys could mould as one in 2012, this ultimately led to the great success as a year group. We were fortunate enough to win the Lancashire Cup twice, on top of winning multiple Sevens tournaments. More recently, we managed to top the Rosslyn Park group, as well as beating some very competitive teams across Lancashire. The success was partly due to natural ability, with a number of us representing Lancashire in recent years, but the main contributing factors to success was our teamwork and everyone attending training. The work ethic and resilience of the squad, ensured every performance was a 20 man contribution, which has been increasingly instilled into our mind-sets by the sports coaches past and present since Year 7. My personal rugby experience at AKS has been unforgettable, I have been fortunate enough to have played within a talented squad and in a positive culture set by the teaching staff. I have been lucky enough to go on numerous tours around the UK, as well as the tour of a lifetime to South Africa. I have developed as a player in terms of skills, but also in terms of my understanding of the game, thanks to the high level coaching I have experienced at AKS.

I have been fortunate enough to be involved in the summer touch rugby sessions. I think these sessions are not only invaluable in helping the up and coming talent develop the skills I have listed, but are also an opportunity for the seniors to give a little back to the school we have benefited from in terms of rugby. The touch rugby is a great form of fitness in the off season and development of game understanding. The younger players have this year benefited from in-game communication and had first-hand experience in the ability to adapt to different situations and game conditions. They have learned to see and attack space with more experienced players guiding them, within this we have seen a number of individuals come to the forefront and utilise those opportunities for themselves. As well as uniting year groups the sessions have developed players in terms of confidence and decision making in a short period of time. This has been really impressive, especially from some of the younger players in Years 7 and 8, who have shown an understanding and ability above their years.  I think there is a bright future ahead for rugby at AKS and would urge all to go forward and get involved. For the senior students it helps develop leadership and for you younger students, an understanding of the game, confidence and communication.  We take rugby and sport very seriously at AKS but it is the encouragement to take part and the personal development within a team that the school is best at, on and off the rugby pitch.

Charlie – Year 13