Welcome to Winchester Under 8s.
Under 8s play a fast-flowing, 6-a-side non-contact format called "tag rugby".
All new players are welcome to come along to training at 10am on Sundays.
We train at North Walls Recreation Ground on the pitches at the end of Nuns Road. Look out for our flag! Sessions start promptly at 10am and will finish between 11am and 1130am. All players must have a parent or guardian present at all times.
Players need to have appropriate kit including boots, warm clothing and waterproofs if necessary. They should also have a drink in a named bottle.
To register your child/children to play rugby at Winchester Rugby Football Club (WRFC), you must be a member of WRFC and your child/children must be registered with the RFU. See the main website for details.
If you would like further information, please contact the coaching team on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our coaches are Stuart Pemble (Lead coach), Roland Emmans, Mark Nall, Craig Stretch, Damian Corneal, Stephen Carter, Paul Newman, Andrew O'Keeffe, Tomas Holloway, James Trantham, Toby Thorman, John Downs, Ed Hilderbrandt, Rupert Boissier, Mark Hunter and Dave Cook. Each of them has completed or is about to complete the RFU’s Tag Rugby coaching course.
Helen Thomas, Marie Carter and Tony Hughes will be sharing the team manager role dealing with all administrative issues.
All coaches and managers are CRB/DBS approved, Damian Corneal will be our Safeguarding Officer and Stuart Pemble our First Aider.
It’s not too late to get involved. We will need help throughout the season to run all of the activities that your child will participate in. Please contact any of the managers by email (Under8s@winchesterrugby.com) if you would like to get involved.
Aims for the season
The coaching team have met during the summer and suggest the following objectives for the season. Please help us meet them.
• All activities are enjoyable for all
• All players will have noticeably improved their tag rugby skills over the course of the season
• As many players as possible progress to U8’s rugby
• All players will have the opportunity to take part in at least one tournament during the season (subject to willingness, logistics and training attendance)
• Aim to win targeted tournaments including Hampshire, London Irish and Winchester
• Players, parents and coaches actively support our codes of conduct, foster the spirit of the game and a supportive team environment
• We actively seek encouragement, support and constructive feedback from players, parents and coaches.
• Each player will train with a range of coaches but will have a named coach who acts as their key point of contact.
How can you help
Please get involved as much or as little as possible. You may not wish to join the coaching or administrative team but we know from existing coaches and parents that the success of the group depends on the full support of parents.
We will need help with everything from: sorting tag belts, tidying up at the end of sessions, crowd control, support for your child if they are upset or injured, taking them to the toilet right up to coaching and administration.
Please ensure your child turns up to sessions on time and with the right kit. You can buy WRFC kit on Sundays from the Clubhouse.
Shaping the Game - experimental rules for U8s rugby in Hampshire
Shaping the Game is a pilot project agreed with and driven by clubs in three participating Counties – Durham, Hampshire and Warwickshire.
The long term objective of the pilot is to:
•Provide a progressive player pathway that will enhance the way in which our players are developed in a more incremental manner
•Provide a game which is in line with the principles of Child Development based on extensive research and expertise
•Increase involvement of all players
•Emphasise competitive performance not competitive outcome
•Encourage less structure (encourage skills and discourage fear of failure)
•Make the game easier to understand and referee
•Less emphasis on contact and more on continuity in early years
•Rewarding intention to tackle in early years as much as ability to tackle
The pilot is based on the recommendations from research, commissioned by the RFU in 2007, by Exeter University. The research had a brief to examine the current continuum and make recommendations on changes that should be made to the youth game. The aim being to develop an improvement in young players’ skills and higher levels of their retention into the adult game.
A synopsis of the research findings is as follows:
•For children under the age of 12, there should be limited focus on structure and drills
•Children learn best by doing and acquire most of their skills by playing small sided games with limited rules and regulations
•Important building blocks (learning) of decision-making and skills can be optimally developed from the age of 7 onwards, and have a lasting effect throughout a player’s future
•Reducing numbers is a way to increase involvement and provide more opportunities for each individual to be involved in decision-making scenarios
•Children do not need the sort of structures, rules and rituals associated with adult games. Younger children should have limited structure imposed upon them and learn skills within these constraints
•Profound inequalities in body size during 7-18 years of age mean that a game heavily focused on contact and set-pieces encourages a “bigger is better” mentality from a very young age, rather than skilled play and decision-making
•More structure needs to be added as children develop into adult forms of the game
•Contact skills are a vital and characteristic feature of Rugby Union and the acquisition and practice of these skills is essential
•In order to emphasise ball handling, evasion & support at younger ages, contact will need to be de-emphasised. It is not suggested that contact should be eliminated, but that children should be looking for spaces and not contact
For more information on the pilot and a copy of the rules please follow the below weblink
Codes of conduct
Please observe the RFU player, parent and spectator codes.
The good player's code
Players are encouraged to:
- Recognise and appreciate the efforts made by coaches, parents, match officials and administrators in providing the opportunity to play the game and enjoy the rugby environment.
- Understand the values of loyalty and commitment to adults and team mates.
- Recognise that every player has a right to expect their involvement in rugby to be safe and free from all types of abuse.
- Understand that if an individual or group of players feel they are not being treated in a manner that is acceptable, then they should tell an adult either at the Club or outside of the game.
The good parent's code
- Play because they want to do so, not to please coaches or parents.
- Remember that skill development, fun and enjoyment are the most important parts of the game.
- Be attentive at all training and coaching sessions.
- Work equally hard for themselves and their team - both will then benefit.
- Recognize good play by all players on their team and by their opponents.
- Be a sportsman - win or lose
- Play to the Laws of the Game and accept, without question, all referees' decisions .
- Control their emotions. Verbal or physical abuse of team mates, opponents, coaches, match officials or spectators is not acceptable.
- Treat all players, as they would like to be treated themselves. Do not interfere with, bully or take advantage of any player.
Parents are encouraged to:
- Be familiar with the coaching and training program in order that they can ensure their child is fully involved and the coaches are aware of their availability.
- Be familiar with the teaching and coaching methods used by observing the coaching and training sessions in which their child participates.
- Be aware that the Club or School has a duty of care to ensure the safety of players and therefore, where appropriate, assist coaches with the supervision of the players, particularly where numbers are large and there is a need to transport players to away games.
- Be involved with Club and School activities and share their expertise.
- Share concerns, if they have them, with Club or School officials.
- Be familiar with the Good Coaches' Code. In particular be aware that: (i) coaches should recognize the importance of fun and enjoyment when coaching players; and (ii) coaches should keep winning and losing in perspective, encouraging players to behave with dignity in all circumstances. It is important that parents support coaches in instilling these virtues.
The good spectator's code
- Remember that young people play rugby for their own enjoyment not that of their parents.
- Encourage young people to play - do not force them.
- Focus on the players' efforts, rather than winning or losing.
- Be realistic about the players' abilities; do not push them towards a level that they are not capable of achieving.
- Provide positive verbal feedback both in training and during the game.
- Remember that persistent, negative messages will adversely affect the players' and referee's performance and attitude.
- Always support the Club in their efforts to eradicate loud, coarse and abusive behaviour from the game.
- Remember young people learn much by example.
- Always show appreciation of good play by all players both from their own Club and the opposition.
- Respect decisions made by the match officials, even if they appear to make a mistake, and encourage the players to do likewise.
Spectators are encouraged to:
- Act as positive role models to all players.
- Be familiar with, and abide by, the RFU Child Protection Guidance in relation to verbal and emotional abuse.
- Respect guidance from the Club or School with regard to spectator behaviour.
- Remember children play sport primarily for their own enjoyment, not for that of the spectators.
- Acknowledge good individual and team performance from all players irrespective of the team in which they play.
- Respect match officials' decisions - remember they are volunteers providing an opportunity for players to play rugby.
- Never verbally abuse players, coaches, match officials or fellow spectators: such behaviour can create a negative environment for players and their behaviour will often reflect this.
- Acknowledge effort and good performance rather than "to win at all costs'.
- Verbally encourage all players in a positive manner, shouting "for', not "at', the players.
- Encourage all players irrespective of their ability - never ridicule any individual player, regardless of the team in which they play
Please ensure that both membership and registration are in place for your child (see below).
The season will start on Sunday 8th September 2013. The first training session will start that day at 10am on the field at the end of Nuns Road. Please look out for the Under 8s flag. Training sessions at WRFC will finish by 1130am. Parents and carers are expected to remain on site during training sessions.
There will be rugby activity every Sunday during the season. Initially we will meet at 10am on the field, in time we will also be playing in tournaments away from Winchester and also training at other clubs. Further details will be provided in due course.
For all sessions, your child will need:
• Appropriate clothing including boots. When the weather is cold and/or wet, please ensure your child has warm clothing and/or waterproofs.
• A drink in a named bottle.
If you have any queries please feel free to talk to any of the coaches after the session or use the team email address: email@example.com
WRFC operates on the basis of members paying annual subscriptions (there is no weekly / termly payment as with First Contact). Please note that nobody under the age of 16 may legally become a member of the Club except through family membership in the name of one of his/her parents or guardians.
We recognise that you may wish to trial whether your child wants to continue playing rugby but WRFC only functions when subscriptions are paid and so by the start of October, we would appreciate it if you could ensure that registration is complete and subscription is paid. Please ensure that you complete and return the photographic permission slip on the final page of the membership form.
Your child must also be registered with the Rugby Football Union (for insurance purposes). You will need 2 passport sized photos of your child for registration.