May 2018: End of 2017-2018 Season Report…..
Over the summer period prior to the 2017-2018 season a new and exciting framework was established for the re-launched Raiders Academy Programme. A new coaching team was established with qualified coaches from Sussex, Harlequins, Saracens, Worthing RFC and Chichester RFC, We defined a series of dates for sessions and some exciting games, created a mission statement and over arching goals for the program, extended open invites for all Sussex clubs to participate in the initiative and managed secure ourselves a good level of sponsorship for the programme to self fund itself – HUGE thank you to the sponsors for supporting us through the 2017/2018 season.
“High performing teams have a special culture”….. We set about building this from day one with the squad, ensuring each element was catered for in terms of qualified highly skilled coaching team, fsetting up quality matches and professional match day experiences, fostering a positive creative environment to even the feeding of players post sessions (the players loved this!!) – All of which built on the experience of each of the young players.
** Feedback on players and helping each player develop “player centred” approach at the heart of the programme **
As a collective season it was a HUGE success for the young players.
– Professional experience at the Trials 2nd Sept 2017
– A squad containing players from 4 Clubs (Worthing RFC, BognorRFC , Chichester RFC and Horsham RFC) coming together as one single squad; also representing 18 Schools across the Sussex County!)
– Presentation session where each player was presented with Radiers Academy playing shirt, Mid-layer Top, Bag and Polo Shirt (Post Christmas we also provided Academy Shorts to each player)
– Defined monthly sessions throughout the calendar year
– Special guest session run by Liam Doubler, Level 4 RFU Coach and Director of Sport for Seaford College
– a Joint U13/U14 Raiders Academy team beating a U14 Christ Hospital Team 24-14 under lights
– A spectacular Wasps Land Rover Cup festival win for the U12 Raiders Academy team in Coventry
– Both Raiders Academy U12 Tigers and Lions squads winning v Christ Hospital U12 sides 80-0 and 60-0
– Raiders Academy U14 side (with some U13s within also) beating London Irish in the London Irish U14 Cup in the 1/4 Finals. (We lost in the Semi Finals)
– Raiders Academy U12s playing Provence U14s and narrowly losing 5-20. We later found out the U14 Provence side went undefeated in a following festival beating the Sussex champions!
– U12/U13 Group playing a spectacular Stade FrancaisU14, team away in Paris and winning 15-0… The magic here was not playing team where players where potentially 2 years older, or the result – but the way the young players learnt from the earlier Provence experience – A special experience and memory created!
– Developing and helping other coaches within the Programme
– Our U14 group had 9 Harlequins Academy Players Selected
– Our U13 Group had 1 Harlequins Academy Player and 4 Sussex U13 Players Selected
– Our U12 Programme had a player represent London Irish Community Team in Lyon, Various Captains and players playing up age
The development in the players, the special culture and experience created are the real takeaways from the season.
Looking forward to the 2018-2019 season!
Raiders Academy, Manager & Coach