Star coaches join Springfields Academy team
10:00am Sunday 6th October 2013 in News
PUPILS at the Springfields Academy will be coached by three ex-professional rugby players to help them face competitors at the first national special school’s rugby tournament next year.
The academy is a specialist sports college and has championed the Extreme Classrooms programme, based on the belief that pupils excel when they are pushed to their limits.
The tournament, to take place in Cardiff, will be part of a new challenge devised by Springfields head teacher Trystan Williams and his team.
From the tournament, a squad of 25 players will be chosen to go to New Zealand for a month in August 2015, just before the rugby world cup takes place in England.
The squad will play a variety of schools and, hopefully, a Junior All Blacks Special School team.
Mr Williams said: “We’ve been talking to the Welsh Rugby Union. We’re going to be putting together a joint Wales and England special schools’ rugby team.
“Imagine all the children that will be playing rugby in the next two years because of the world cup and because of the toughest classroom initiative.”
Last Wednesday, 15 pupils at Springfields began working on throwing and catching skills with rugby stars Thinus Delport, Adam Balding and Nick Runciman.
Mr Delport played for Gloucester, the Worcester Warriors and South Africa.
He said: “The boys are going for it and they’ve got great energy levels. There’s definitely some raw talent and it’s up to everyone involved to get these guys focused.
“I’ve been associated with Springfields for a couple of years now. The way they transform young people and give them an opportunity is amazing and it’s wonderful to be a small part of it.
“Being part of the project is a real honour and where they’re going is an inspiring journey.”
Mr Williams, who is a keen rugby supporter, said: “It’s great that people at that level are giving up their time to get them ready for the challenge ahead.
“They will come back once a month just to keep the training going and giving special targets for the players.
“If rugby is the thing that turns them onto education for the rest of their lives then that’s fabulous.”
Next Monday a group of 11 pupils, including three from Springfields and Mr Delport, will fly out for the school’s latest challenge, The Highest Classroom on Earth. They plan to climb 18,200 feet up Everest.
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