Safety, safety, safety; that’s the message from experienced Leicester Tigers Rugby Camps head coach Ian ‘Dosser’ Smith.
Dosser, who made more than 300 appearances in Leicester colours during his playing career, is just one of a team of senior head coaches taking charge of Tigers Rugby Camps this summer, introducing the next generation of players to the game.
Having already travelled to Warwickshire, Norfolk and Yorkshire in July, Tigers’ team of community coaches are set for further camps in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and across Leicestershire this August.
From Under-9s and above, camps introduce players to contact-based games and technical skill breakdowns within managed sessions that help young players develop awareness, understanding and decision-making abilities.
“The main thing is, we want the players to enjoy themselves in a safe environment,” Dosser said. “The players enjoy it because they’re getting better, and they get better because they’re enjoying what they do.
“We work on the core skills of running, passing, scanning and some of the contact skills; and we manage how we introduce all of that to make sure that the players are safe at all times.
“We make sure that their technique is strong – and look at developing that – as well as looking at the breakdown, the ruck and maul, and identifying situations to make the most of either winning the ball, or trying to slow the ball down … legally, of course!”
“The main thing is, we want the players to enjoy themselves in a safe environment.”Ian 'Dosser' Smith
Supported by Tigers’ full-time team of community coaches, Rugby Camps are also staffed with qualified first-aiders alongside the support of a dedicated welfare officer at each location.
Dosser continued: “In everything we do, we preach the same three things; safety, safety, safety.
“We’re very careful about the way different elements are introduced and the way we monitor things, because at the end of the day these Rugby Camps are an opportunity for children to be introduced to rugby, to enjoy the game and develop.
“I still enjoy delivering these sessions as much now as I did when I first started them what feels like a million years ago, and I’d urge parents to come and see what we are all about.”
All Tigers rugby camps coaches meet the highest standards across child welfare and coaching qualifications, including enhanced DBS clearances, minimum Level 2 coaching and first aid as well as Premiership Rugby minimum standard Level 3.
Parents are requested to provide relevant medical history or details on previous injuries upon booking to ensure first-aiders are best informed, alongside the support of a dedicated welfare officer at each camp.
You can see a selection of frequently asked questions by clicking here.
There’s still time to book onto upcoming Rugby Camps as we head across the UK this summer. Find your nearest camp and book your place now using the link below.