Maples tries to spot talent early

The Cayman Rugby Union, Maples Community rugby season kicks off on Saturday at the South Sound pitch, when over 200 children are expected to register.

The South Sound Community programme will be the first of the five programmes to commence with West Bay, Savannah, East End and Bodden Town following on over the next few weeks as each programme prepares for the community tournaments after Christmas.

Last season four communities participated at the Under-16 level in the tournaments and this year rugby development youth manager Keswick Wright aims to have boys and girls teams participating from each community at U-10, U-12, U-14 and U-16 levels.

In order to assist this to happen Wright has already started to coach rugby in several schools and has requests to do so in many more, he will continue to deliver these programmes while recruiting to his community programmes for the whole 2008/2009 school year.

Wright’s success with the U-16 players last year had an immediate effect on the U-19 results this summer with several excellent athletes taking to the game as the result of his school and community work and a couple of players breaking into the team.

Wright and technical director Richard ‘Grizz’ Adams have over the past 16 months reviewed the whole community and school delivery programme adopting the English Rugby Football Union’s Continuum programme as the preferred model from which to work.

They have done this for several reasons most notably being that this allows English schools to play here under the same laws and game variations, the continuum programme offers a multi-year structured delivery and learning approach to the game and it offers a tag version of the game that develops the players’ core skills in preparation for the full 15-a- side version of the sport.

Adams and Wright have been testing the new delivery of this programme with the U-20s and the national men and women’s sevens teams over the summer and are pleased with the results.

Adams has also been talking with several sports tourism agencies in North America and Europe with regard to increasing the frequency of visiting youth and school sides here.

To sign up for any of the CRFU Maples Community programmes simply log onto the web page www.caymanrugby.com register by following the membership link on the left of the page, print the registration form and bring it, your player, some runners, shorts, T shirt and water to the South Sound pitch this Saturday at the following times.

While the children participate the parents can complete the sign up process.

Children under the age of four and six by 1 September 2008, start at 7.45am and run 45 minutes until 8.30am.

Children under the age of eight, ten and 12 by 1 September 2008, start at 8.30am and until 9.30am.

Children under the age of 14 by 1 September 2008, run from 9.30-11am.

The season runs from this month until May and includes five local 7s and 10s tournaments from January. Registered players receive a Maples tournament kit to keep.

Players will be selected from the Greenlight Re. schools programmes and the Maples Community programmes to enter the new U-10, U-12, U-14 and U-16 academy training sessions throughout 2008 and 2009.

Cayman will be selecting national representatives sides to travel to Bermuda in April and May 2009 to compete in the second annual 2009 Conyers Dill & Peraman, BerCay Youth Challenge Cup at U-10, U-12 and hopefully U-14 grades.

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