Category: Club News

Guest coach for a great cause…

On Wednesday May 26th, Oadby Wyggs hosted a special evening of training and coach education with guest coach Geraint Davies.

Geraint’s brother Mark and one of his students Tom Ellis (Oadby Wyggs Junior player) sadly passed away in 2019 and 2020 respectively, both due to brain tumours.

Geraint is raising money in their memory for ‘Brain Tumour Research’ and the “My Name’5 Doddie Foundation” (support sufferers of Motor Neurons Disease).

Geraint cycled 455.5 miles over the Bank Holiday taking him from Great Yarmouth to Aberyswyth and on to Swansea. Each evening, he visited rugby clubs along the route delivering a Coaching session as he did at Oval Park.

Known to many at the Club as a parent of Wyggs players, Geraint is a Level 4 Head Coach, high profile Coach Educator and Head of PE at LGS. Geraint visited each group during the night and did a 20/30 mins coaching session with every age group present on the night. Coaches from the minis, juniors and senior sections were all encouraged to attend.

Coaches, parents, players and members in attendance were able to make a donation on the night or online using the link here.

It’s NOT too late to make a donation – Just click on the link and click the ‘Donate’ button.

As of midday on June 1st, Geraint had beaten his target by raising £5,284!!

Team shirt sponsorship opportunity…

As we close out this uniquely revamped season and with the 2021/22 season appearing on the horizon, it’s a time to take stock and start to prepare for what we hope will be a more normal season.

It’s the time of year that the Club goes through our kit review and as such we are currently seeking prospective new Team Shirt sponsors, particularly in our Mini/Midi section.

The new 2021/22 kit will be the latest OWRFC design and livery from our new kit supplier, proudly displaying the Sponsor’s logo on the front.

If you have your own business, or you have a contact, or perhaps an employer, who you think may be willing to talk to the Club about becoming a shirt sponsor, please contact Ian White on 07428 879979 or on whiteia7161@hotmail.com.

No hard-selling is required on your part – a contact name and phone number are all that is needed and the Club will do the rest.

The Wyggs have a number of compelling sponsorship and advertising opportunities available to all sizes of business and to fit all budgets, details of which are available on request.

The Oadby Wyggestonian ‘audience’ has been steadily growing, offering businesses the opportunity to get their products and services in front of a growing number of people.

OWRFC Schools Programme

With the return of rugby at Oadby Wyggs and following on from the well-received coaching sessions that the club has been running at Primary Schools during the last couple of seasons, we recently caught up with Paul Inchley.

Paul is our Under 12s Team Manager and has worked diligently on promoting the Club in local schools over recent seasons.

Paul explains, “The club is now expanding this program to Secondary Schools, both through PE sessions and after school clubs. Wigston Academy has been the first to benefit since our return to rugby.

Two of our Senior players, Harry Jinks and Jack Arthur, are conducting nine taster rugby sessions for around 270 Year 7 boys and girls. Our intention is to introduce them to rugby – many of them for the first time and hopefully, inspire them to come down to Oval Park and see what Wyggs has to offer.

Further networking has led to a number of further potential sessions at other Secondary schools following half term and we are hoping to maintain this momentum into more schools in the new academic year”

The Club is looking to enhance our pool of Coaches to support this initiative.

So, if you can commit in advance, to a series of PE lessons and/or after school clubs in either Primary or Secondary Schools, why not consider becoming a Schools coach for a period? You will need to have your own transport and current DBS clearance.

“It’s very rewarding to be able to introduce many kids to rugby for the first time,” adds Paul.

We are also holding an OWRFC Schools Touch Rugby Tournament at Manor High School on Friday July 2nd and Paul is looking for a number of volunteers to referee and generally help run the afternoon.

For further details on either of these initiatives, please contact Paul Inchley on 07870 945702.

Under 11s brushing off the cobwebs…

As rugby and other grassroots sports experienced a welcome return in recent months, we are all probably guilty of doing a little less exercise recently – parents and children alike!

Although I am sure, many of us did not miss the cold and wet fixtures typical of the start of the year, it feels like a much-needed return to some form of normality for everyone involved. The turnout for the U11s has been fantastic, with all players returning since the restart.

As they are gradually reintroduced to the game, the time has been spent brushing off “COVID cobwebs,” with an emphasis on shape and skills. The coaches have taken a stricter approach to tackling, with an emphasis on tackling lower and more precisely, so avoiding head or neck contact. Additionally, they have worked on further introducing the kicking elements of the game. The attitude and behaviour of all those involved have been impeccable since the restart.

In other news, we welcome two new people to our volunteer team, Lewis Brogan joining our coaching team in preparation for next season, along with Sarah Mealyer, who joins as First Aider.

Unfortunately, the team say goodbye to Summer Jones at the end of this season, as mixed rugby is only permitted up to the U11s. Obviously we’ll all be sad to see Summer leave BUT happily our loss is Oadby Wyggs Girls team’s gain.

Having joined the club a couple of years ago, Summer really has settled in well. Her willingness to get involved and her calm manner are valuable traits that will stand her in good stead as she continues her rugby journey.

– Gaëlle Dauney- Duignan, Team Manager

Social Touch Rugby initiative

Although competitive rugby may be over, Oadby Wyggs have launched our Social Touch Rugby initiative.

These sessions run on Monday and Thursday evenings from 7.00 to 8.30 pm and are open to absolutely EVERYBODY, regardless of ability, gender or age – even if you’ve never played before, it’s easy to pick up the rules and it’s a non-contact sport.

Just come along, bring your friends, your family. No need to book a place!

The ‘season’ may be over but rugby goes on…

“The return of competitive Rugby to Oval Park in the form of the inaugural House Cup has been a real success.

The formation of the Houses has allowed the club to split into 4 distinct teams, whilst eliminating barriers such as age, experience and gender. Every member of the club from the U6 to the Vets has had the opportunity to represent a House and compete across 3 weekends for the chance to get their hands on the trophy.

I hope that this competition can become an annual event as I believe that it has brought the club back together post covid and has showcased all that is positive about the Wyggs.

Many thanks to everyone that has helped behind the scenes to make this idea a reality.”

– Jon Lowdon, Senior Coach

Relocating to Belfast

Sadly, due to relocation, we are saying farewell to Team manager Oonagh, Coach Rich Gooding, player Ruairi from the Under 8s and sister Aoife, who are moving to Belfast.

Oonagh shared that they are “sad to be leaving the Oadby Wyggs family but are grateful to have had such a good start to rugby life. Oonagh and Rich also wish to pass on special thanks to Coaches Liam and Harry, together with all the players and parents.

Over the last few weeks, Oonagh has been working to ensure a smooth transition of the Team Management to Georgina Coleman who has kindly volunteered to step into the role.

On behalf of the Club, we wish the family every success in the exciting, new chapter of their lives. Thank you for your hard work in developing the OWRFC Under 8s team and of course to Ruairi for representing us on the pitch!

Going the extra mile(s) for Oadby Wyggs……..

We recently caught up with OWRFC member, Mike Kent, after the inspirational story around his family’s relocation reached our ears. Mike’s sons Owen and Evan play in the Under 13s and Under 11s respectively.

Proud Welshman Mike says, “Born and bred in “God’s Country” there was never any doubt, or choice, that Owen and Evan would be rugby players.”

Just fifteen months apart in age, the boys started playing at RuggerEds when they were just two and a half years old. Moving up to Oadby Wyggs as Under8s, where like most kids, they love being part of organised teams, putting on the gear and proudly representing their teams and their sport.

Mike continues “It’s no surprise, they have developed into kind, charming and respectful young men and when, alongside such dedicated peers and coaches, they fully commit themselves to this great sport.”

After tragically losing their mum to cancer in 2017, Mike says “the friendship and support of the Club and their friends made a huge contribution toward their well-being.”

Even though recently relocated to a lovely location in rural Lincolnshire Mike and the boys are “so pleased to maintain our links to our friends at Wyggs, continuing our rugby fellowship and journey.”

“Currently we set out after school on Wednesday and early morning Sunday to make the 120 mile round trip that takes around 1 hour 10 minutes each way. As you can imagine, it’s a little more difficult to take up voluntary support roles so we are even more grateful to those dedicated people and parents for their continued dedication in support of our club.”

Mike, Owen and Evan, we are delighted you are, and continue to be, part of the Oadby Wyggs family. Long may your journey continue – in both senses of the word!!!

Summer Sports Camp

This summer OWRFC are introducing a multi-sport camp for children ages 6 – 14.

The two-day sports camp offers boys and girls a choice of activities throughout the day to develop their skills and confidence with friends in a covid-secure environment. This will be a perfect return to kids sports after the past 12 months.

With activities including Football, Rugby, Cricket, Netball, Rounders and more, there is great variety on offer for participants to try their hand at.

Led by current OWRFC members, we’re hopeful there will also be some surprise guests from including a professional women’s football player, and a (very) local professional rugby club. Watch this space…

Held on between 9am until 3pm on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th June, it is £30 per day or £50 for both with a 10% sibling discount available.

For more information, please contact Jon Lowdon on +44734940292

Colts season review

Colts rugby combines two age groups (U17 & U18) and for many it’s the highlight of their club rugby experience as they transition from Sunday morning games and hot dogs to Saturday afternoon fixtures and games that can go on long into the clubhouse night.

This season from a rugby perspective has been very frustrating for everyone but we’re really proud of the way that the colts have adapted.

Lead by Colts Captain Lewis Williamson the colts have turned up in great numbers to train every Thursday since September. They have worked very hard on their skill sets and fitness. On Monday training nights Jon Lowdon has integrated the colts with the senior players and the colts have revelled in that experience, forging new friendships and taking on fresh learnings.

Three positives we take from this colts season are: there’s a great set of colts lads working hard together, skill levels are up and the older colts have transitioned seamlessly into the senior player group.

Who knows what next season will bring? The RFU have signalled that colts will be U19s next season to allow for a smoother transition and greater flexibility for the club. Helping players make the step into senior rugby after a year away from playing competitive contact rugby.

We’re looking forward to welcoming the next playing U16 group and new coaches into the fold.

– Chris Anderson, Colts Coach

Oadby Wyggs Under 10s hit the ground running!!

“It was an exciting feeling to be back at Oval Park. For the U10s team, it was great to finally return to rugby, while for parents, it was great to be back to some sort of (socially distanced) social life.

After so many Sundays without any rugby, it was a bit of a morning rush for some, while for others, there was the discovery that some player’s outfits were just too small as the kids have grown so much! Most of all, It was just nice to see the kids with big smiles on their faces as they reunited with each other again.

We returned to rugby with so much energy to release after more than 3 months away from the Club, so our three coaches, Karl, John and Paddy, have focused the training sessions on improving general fitness and getting back to basics with ball handling, passing, and support play being key areas. Of course, with no contact for so long now, we also worked on tackling techniques.

We were also pleased to welcome two new players into the squad, who have settled in very well and have quickly made progress.

This month has seen the first week of the House Cup across the whole Club, with us playing matches between combined U10s and U9s teams.

This is proving to be a real success, with the players (and parents) enjoying it very much. The Tournament gives us a ‘taster” of competitive games as we progress towards playing our first inter-club matches of the season.”

– Sandrine Dominguez, Under 10s Team Manager

Senior Section

It’s been a great restart so far with 50+ players turning up to the majority of the sessions. Jon has done a fantastic job in organising training with a focus on fun and just allowing club members to enjoy being back playing rugby. Despite the emphasis on fun, the lads have all been working hard within these sessions which will help improve fitness levels as we build towards preseason in June/July.

The opening of the new marquee has given us a great space to socialise (following COVID guidelines) after training, something that I know some lads have missed even more so than the rugby.

We have also just started the inaugural House Cup competition which saw a great turnout on the first weekend. Though the games were advertised as friendly, inter-club, touch fixtures; it was very apparent that a lot of lads haven’t lost their competitive edge, which is great to see.

The senior section will continue to hold non contact based training sessions on Mondays and Thursdays to encourage new, regular and veteran players to come down and get involved whenever they can.

Finally, on behalf of the senior section, I’d like to thank everyone involved in helping with our return to rugby and specifically to Oval Park. I know that a lot of effort has gone into transforming the facilities and ensuring that the correct procedures are in place to make us as COVID secure as possible, allowing us to get back to doing what we enjoy.

– Jack Elliott, 1st XV Captain

Snippets from around Oval Park………………..

Under 9s Team Co-Manager Rebecca Johnson said “I think it’s fair to say that the whole team are absolutely over the moon to be back! Their first real year of contact doesn’t seem to be putting them off and they’re raring to go with getting back to competitive matches!”

“The Under14s continue to impress their coaches with high levels of attendance, effort and their keenness to play,” said Coach Jason Stanbridge. “The team are clearly enjoying being back playing rugby but are more than overdue for a bit of competition against other Clubs!!”

“The Under 8s have started back to rugby with great enthusiasm,” said Team Manager Oonagh Gooding. “They have been practicing direct running, defending as a line and support play. We are pleased to be able to welcome lots of new kids to our team, and the team are really looking forward to being able to meet with other clubs for some friendly games.”

Ruth Watson, Team Manager for the Under 7s shared that the team “have loved their return to rugby and we have welcomed a few new team members as well. The House Cup has been a great opportunity for the team to start playing games for the first time and they really held their own playing alongside the U8s.”

The Under 12s have continued to link up with the U13 for combined, sessions that are going really well. Team Manager Paul Inchley is happy with the progress of the team. “ who have really stepped up to the plate, relishing the new challenges of training with older peers and there have been many positive comments. They are really starting to enjoy their rugby again. We are very grateful to the U13 Management/Coaching Team for facilitating the arrangement, without which our Age Group may have become largely unviable.”

Oadby Wyggestonian RFC Somerbys House Tournament 2021

Competition is already heating up in the run-in to Round 1 of OWRFC House Tournament matches this coming weekend. Paul Horner House Captain for the Tigers responded to Chris Anderson’s earlier “Go Stallions” battle cry, saying “It’s an honour to be asked to be the Tigers House Captain for the very first Oadby Wyggs House Cup competition. It has been a very difficult year for everyone but the club is in a great position to move forward and it’s great to see the light at the end of the tunnel shining a little brighter!!”

“I wish everyone an enjoyable competition, however I personally will enjoy it a lot more if my house win, so come on ladies and gents. I may not be running around out there, but I’m with you every step of the way!!!”

What better way to see the return of competitive rugby to Oval Park than a “one club” tournament that engages everyone in the Wyggs family, from the U7’s to the most senior of players. We can’t wait to see the Wyggs shirts back on the grass, smiles on faces, drinks and food in hand as we take the next step back to rugby as we know it.

Thanks to Jon Lowdon and everyone involved in arranging what is expected to be three weekends of fun filled competitive fixtures and the opportunity for members to safely socialise during and after the rugby.

House Captain for the Owls Team and our Club President, Jenny Robinson tipped further fuel on the fire when she said “After what seems like an age, I’m sure, like me, you are looking forward to being part of the first OWRFC House Cup! It is great to see so many of you wanting to take part and for the whole Wyggs playing community to be joining together to enjoy some rugby again.”

“I will be on the touchline cheering you on as your House Captain! May you have fun, play with great spirit, and show that the OWLS are like the great birds of prey that they are and let’s go hunting for that ball!”

COME ON YOU OWLS!”

Feedback from the mini, midi, junior, ladies and senior coaches is that players are training hard and enjoying being back out on the pitches with their teammates.

Chris Anderson, Team captain of the Stallions said.  “I’m looking forward to seeing plenty of fast running rugby from all the lads and ladies representing the Stallions. We can anticipate a great competition between the four house teams doing battle to claim the title and lift the inaugural OWRFC House Cup. Go Stallions!!!!”

Click on the links below to download all of the information you will need.

Powerpoint (House Competition 2021 Abridged.pptx) 6.5MB – click on the image below to download.

Team Sheets (House-Competition-Team-Sheets-2021.xlsx) 0.74MB – Click on the image below to download.

Introduce your child to Didi rugby at Oadby Wyggestonian RFC

In addition to the Clubs successful Mini/Midi/Junior Sunday rugby group, we are delighted that, through our association with Didi rugby, you can now introduce you child to rugby from 18 months of age, right through to the age of 6 years, at which time they can graduate to our Mini section.

Didi rugby run their sessions on Saturdays and you can find more information by clicking on https://didirugby.com/find-a-didi-rugby-class-in-leicester-oadby-wyggestonian-rfc/

Oadby Sponsors Directory

Over the last few months of lockdowns, something remarkable has been happening at Oadby Wyggs. Thanks to the goodwill and outstanding support of a large number of local businesses, the Club is in the enviable position of having a truly outstanding group of Sponsors – both old and new.

You will have already seen a number of announcements on our Social Media platforms but we would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of all the members and friends of OWRFC, to express our sincere gratitude to every single Sponsor for their support. As life returns to some normality, we look forward to welcoming our Sponsors, old and new, back to Oval Park.

Many of our sponsors feature on our new pitch-side fence project, on match shirts, in our Newsletter and in positions of prominence around the ground. The work is ongoing and more announcements will follow in due course

You can find all our Sponsors listed in our new Business Directory, which lists all contact details and details the services they provide. As members, this will enable you to quickly find a business that may be relevant to your needs. You can also access them on the oadbywyggs.com website by clicking on their logos at the foot of the home page.

Whenever you are looking to engage with local businesses, tradesmen or retailers, please take a look to see if we can support our sponsors as they support us.

Details of Sponsorship packages available from Ian White at whiteia7161@hotail.com or telephone 07428 879979.

Oadby Wyggs U9s Update

This month we take a look at this season’s Under 9s. A number of the current squad joined Oadby Wyggs as Under 6s and over the ensuing years the Group has continued to grow into one of our strongest Age Groups.

The Under 9’s Managers and Coaches have focused on providing fun and stimulating sessions, ensuring a close-knit Team atmosphere. This has resulted in strong player retention and a continuous flow of new players. Team Manager Debora Saibene, says “the kids are all so close, despite all coming from different schools and not really knowing each other before joining the team. Every new player always comments on the fact that they feel very welcome in the team – the players make it very easy to settle in and feel part of the team.”

Rebecca Johnson, co-Team Manager added “I can’t think of many kids that have joined Oadby Wyggs Under 9s and then left. We’ve managed to keep players, even as we introduced tackling into our game”

The Under 9s are also proud of the high percentage of girls in the team, which is great news as we continue to develop Girl’s and Women’s rugby at Oadby Wyggs

The players all put so much effort into all they do. Considering the kids missed a considerable amount of time training ‘from tag to tackle’, the Coaches have been impressed “by the bravery and commitment when the players finally got back to contact.” The team is shaping up really well, and are all looking forward to getting stuck in again as we finally return to rugby!!

– Debora Saibene & Rebecca Johnson, Co-Managers

Leicester Tigers Project Rugby

Earlier this month, as part of ‘Project Rugby,”  a group of our younger players took part in a Zoom interview with Leicester Tigers 19-year-old, Scrum Half and rising star, Jack Van Poortvliet, fresh from his efforts against Exeter Chiefs!!

Jack joined Leicester Tigers from his boyhood North Walsham RFC, via the Tigers Academy Pathway at the grand old age of 12. To date he has two under 20 England Caps to his name and is hotly tipped to succeed Ben Youngs in the fullness of time.

Players from Under 6/7 up to Under 14s got the chance to put their questions to Jack in a live 30-minute Zoom call, which has proven to be a great success. Players were excited to get the chance to get to talk to a current Tiger’s First Team player, especially as Jack has progressed through his local Club, exactly the same as our kids are doing!

Jack obviously did a great job in answering the questions fired at him, judging by the quotes below from some of our younger players and their parents!

  • “Hope there’s going to be another Zoom call with Tigers!”

  • “Niall enjoyed it and read his question out to JVP”

  • “Wow! That was fantastic! Joe said JVP is his new idol and he even beats Alun Wyn Jones – which has to be pretty special!”

  • “He’s buzzing Thank you so much for the opportunity.”

*Project Rugby is a national initiative, supported by England Rugby and Premiership Rugby, with a primary focus to transition new players and volunteers into local grassroots rugby clubs. Oadby Wyggs is one of four designated participating local clubs here in Leicester.

Rugby Returns to Oval Park

With the easing of restrictions and the re-opening of grassroots sport on Monday March 29th, the Senior players wasted no time in turning out in force for the first night of training, after their enforced, long lay-off. With the Colts, Juniors and Oadby Wyggs Girls all returning in the same week, Oval Park is bursting back to life at long last.

Oadby Wyggs Club Coach Jon Lowden said he was very pleased at the turnout.

“We had phenomenal numbers at our first session back,” he said.  Originally planning for around 30 players for the session, it was brilliant that more than double that number turned out.

Jon continued,“It was great that as well as 1st Team players, we also had a number of others including some ‘social player’s together with a lot of Colts players too, which was brilliant. The last 12 months have been hard times for many rugby clubs but this shows that the heartbeat is strong here at The Wyggs”

Club President Jenny Robinson said

“It was fantastic to see so many happy smiling faces again at Oval Park……!!”

Jon Lowden has also been instrumental in planning the chargeback to Oval Park as restrictions lift. Here are some diary notes of upcoming key events:

  • Sunday April 11th Sunday sessions re-commence at Oval Park

  • Oadby Wyggs will launch the House Cup, where players across all age groups will be split into 4 teams (Hawks, Tigers, Stallions, and Foxes). Games scheduled Saturdays 24th April, 1st May, 8th May will be based on the non-contact Rugby Ready framework.

  • W/C 3rd of May Introduction of Summer Social Touch Rugby, running throughout the Spring/Summer providing families with the opportunity to attend Oval Park on Monday and Thursday evenings to participate together in Touch Rugby.

  • Also in planning – MULTISPORT HOLIDAY CAMP during half term at the end of May.

– Jon Lowden, Head Coach