164 guests enjoyed the best Old Pats ball ever.
The U14s are represented by over 40 players from over eleven different schools that will be deployed into two mixed ability squads for the 2021/22 season.
Our cohort has been together since U9s. We have always been proud of developing all the players knowing full well that sportsman develop at different points of their journey. We started with four squads in U9 at 9 aside and as the size of the numbers of players on the pitch has expanded, the number of squads have decreased, whilst maintaining a healthy number of players on our books.
In the 2021/22 season, we are based at Bournside School on magnificent pitches with ample space surrounded by an impressive vista of Leckhampton Hill! We train from 9:30 – 11, a slightly earlier time, to ensure that players can get to their other sports that day on time.
We are lucky to have a supportive band of parents who allow their children to compete in a number of sports and I appreciate how they manage their children’s lives allowing them to participate in rugby, football, cricket, hockey etc across the breadth of the year. They share the same ethos as myself: all sport is good sport.
The Old Patesians Junior section exists to encourage children and young adults to develop as rugby and team players throughout their time with us.
Our aim is that they maintain their participation in the sport throughout their junior years and progress to our senior section. To this end, the rugby environment we create for our young players must be safe, fun and inclusive. We welcome players of all standards, irrespective of ability or experience.
Our Club Ethos, based around the RFU core values of Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline & Sportsmanship (TREDS), is at the very heart of everything we think and do to make this happen.
Last season’s lockdown was eventful to say the least. But as U13s we worked tirelessly on handling. My aim, over the years, has been to make the players as skilful as possible. We are certainly achieving this target and the players’ reactions have been honed with fast paced handling games which forces them to be reactive. We continue the theme of handling across the summer months to keep the boys’ fitness and skill levels ticking over. Moving to next season, the U14s will welcome new players, but only if they have rugby experience.
This season the RFU have stipulated that from September to December the U14s will play four months of U13s rules, to broach the gap left by lockdown. This will mean operating without two flankers; having no lineouts, and only the scrumhalf is allowed to break from the base, not the number 8. From January we go to 15 aside full rules, with the only exception being that lineouts are uncontested.
We are incredibly lucky in our age group to have such healthy numbers, with over 45 players for the upcoming season. Gemma and Sally met at Under 9’s and have been the Team Managers for this lovely group of players and parents since the beginning at U9’s.
We both have very different rugby experience but that matters not when trying to keep our Head Coach and the other 9 coaches in check! We are the communication link between parents and the coaches/club, we organise all of our fixtures, food and first aid (amongst many other things)! We ensure the smooth running of this age group…whilst enjoying a coffee or 2
Our coaches include Andy Edwards, Bruce Bynorth, Darryl Francis, Gary Stevens, Martin Downward, Pete Jones, Simon Davies, Simon Patterson and Simon Ross that help with the organisation, refereeing and coaching of the players.
Six of our coaches are RFU Level 2 standard.
Keeping the coaches in order, as well organising fixtures, tournaments, communications with parents, arranging training times and locations, liaising with the RFU (the list goes on) are our managers Sally Belisario-Parry and Gemma Fletcher. Sally and Gemma have recently introduced a Teamo system of communication with parents enabling the U14s to run as smoothly as possible.
We train and play at:
Warden Hill Road, Cheltenham GL51 3EF
Drive through gates and into carparks. Walk up through carparks with school on right, follow path around school buildings keeping right onto main school pitches.
There are toilets in the school building between carpark and pitches