Heading up the Wanderers Rugby Academy in 2018/2019 was Under 18’s coach and senior strapper, Shane Goldthorpe. Several specialist coaches were brought in to assist, making this one of the best programs we have offered and a footprint we will continue to use going forward.
Dan Bunyan who specialises in speed & agility as well as strength & conditioning put the players through their paces every week adding in programs to follow up on at home and throughout the coming season. We saw great improvements in all players who completed the program from the start to the finish as technique improved. Dan will also be working with our Under 13s - 15s during the pre-season to assist them with technique and athletic development.
Scott Dalibozek who is co-coaching our 18s this season, featured regularly throughout the Academy. Dipper’s focus was on getting the basics right and he is the master of skills and drills. Our junior coaches took advantage of this and attended sessions to learn new drills. Stuart Pinkerton was a favourite amongst the attendees, he says it as it is and he had the forwards working hard during all of the sessions he ran. It was great to welcome him back to his Club and the boys relished the opportunity to work with him.
Off field player development is an important part of the Wanderers Academy. Throughout the program we invited many guests to meet with our participants both formally and informally. Headspace came along to discuss the importance of good mental health and recognising cues; Ethos provided education on nutrition and hydration and discussed the controversial topic of supplements. We welcomed Old Boy Angelo Agresti to discuss the history of the Club and the importance of the bond and relationships formed through rugby; as well as Wanderers Rugby Community secretary Andy Traill to discuss the significance of the WRC and their contribution to our great Club. Andy also coordinates the Christ Church Cathedral Community Lunches that are held fortnightly at Newcastle Grammar School and discussed this important aspect of the Newcastle community supporting those in need. Part of the commitment to the Academy involves a commitment to assisting with these lunches throughout the school holidays. Giving back to the local community just as the coaches and speakers gave to them throughout the Academy.
Congratulations to the young men and women who took advantage of this outstanding program throughout Nov - Jan. It's a tough gig throughout the heat of summer but you will all benefit from having participated in it.