Saracens Summer Camp at RAF Halton
The fourth Rugby and Teamwork Development Camp took place at Royal Air Force Halton over the period 29 Jul – 2 Aug 13.
The Camp is a collaborative enterprise between Saracens RUFC and the RAF. The aim of the camp is to improve young rugby players skills using Saracens Coaching Staff and introduce them to team work and leadership both during the day and in the evenings using instruction provided by RAF personnel. The ‘learning through team building and leadership tasks’ takes many forms including the use of the high-ropes and low ropes course, and facilitation exercises. The RAF staffs instil some of the core values that drive our Armed Forces individuals and accord with the ethos of Saracens’, such as teamwork, work rate, passion, commitment, respect and discipline.
The Camp was attended by 90 young rugby players aged from 12 to 17 from all over the UK, Europe and as far afield as Dubai and Hong Kong. The week saw the youngsters undertaking a punishing regime of rugby training interspersed with leadership and team work facilitation. All the attendees agreed that the camp was a great experience and the highlight of the week for many was a visit by Saracen’s and Scottish National player, Kelly Brown, who commented that: “The facilities and opportunities provided by RAF Halton and the RAF staff are excellent.”
Taking part in some of the activities for the afternoon, he spoke to the children about the requirements for respect, integrity, hard work and commitment. Kelly, who also has friends in the RAF, said that he was very pleased to see such a strong collaboration between Saracen’s and the RAF and that it would undoubtedly bear fruit for both parties. He continued: “This is an awesome set up, it provides a good balance between all aspects of training and life skills. The military way of training delivery is second to none and the youngsters have learned so much about themselves and their commitment and passion for the game.”
Another highlight of the week was a visit to the Saracen’s Allianz Stadium, located near to Watford. An afternoon of coaching in rugby skills was undertaken on the hottest afternoon of the year so far, followed by a tour of the hospitality areas, changing rooms and training facilities.
The Project Officer for the Camp, Sqn Ldr Bev Cartwright, commented: “The week was a huge success and had built on last year’s excellent camp to deliver an improved timetable and output. “We can only continue to grow this partnership, and continue to highlight the excellent reputation of rugby in the RAF and the “can do” attitude of the RAF and civilian personnel who help out with the Camp.”