Ballyclare High players make welcome return to field after lockdown

Ballyclare High School U17 rugby players took to the field for the first time last week since games had to stop in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 11:10 am

The fixture on May 24 with Ulster U18 clubs followed on from experiences of hosting a Gamify approach to rugby at year 8 in the previous academic year and over the on/off lockdowns at school with Medallion and senior rugby.

It was a game based on encouraging and rewarding creative play, developing players’ reactions to those uncoachable moments that appear in the normal game.

Ballyclare High School Director Of Rugby, Mike Orchin-McKeever, who is also the Head Coach of Ballyclare RFC has had several fixtures of this style of game over the past four weeks and has become a fan of the approach.

Ballyclare High returned to action on May 24.

He said: “This was a perfect return to playing a competitive fixture. The aims and focus had been around getting guys on the pitch in their school jersey, developing our return to rugby pathway, encourage players to use a wider range of skills within rugby that they may be reluctant to use in a normal game.

“All players have their super powers but are at times shy to develop other elements, this allows them to realise they can.

“A big thank to Gavin Hogg, Chris Galway and Neil Alcorn for their willingness, co operation and opportunity for this fixture to happen.

“Let’s hope September brings a shape of normality back to school life, sport and rugby but the coach has made his notes to keep some approaches for a different normal.”

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