Coleraine Rugby Club has appointed a new Community Rugby Officer to promote the sport among school children in the area.
Supported by an Ulster Rugby initiative, Gerry Lafferty, a long time member of the club, has been appointed to the role.
He has already got into action and will soon be a familiar face to young athletes across the town and wider area.
Gerry said: “I am really enjoying my new role. I have been working with mini rugby at the club for a number of years and this is a great opportunity to develop rugby as a sport across local schools.
“I will be working with Ulster Rugby development officer Shaun Bloomfield but I am particularly looking forward to working with local Active School Coordinators and PE staff. We want to provide a strong pathway between local primary and secondary schools and our local club, Coleraine Rugby Football and Cricket Club.
“Rugby provides the stepping stones between children and young people and senior rugby.
“I believe that rugby also offers children and teenagers increased confidence and self-respect, as the ultimate character building sport. It fosters courage, fitness, team effort and togetherness, bringing together boys and girls from all backgrounds.
“It teaches sportsmanship - shaking hands with an opponent even after being tackled by them. It applauds skill and commitment. Cheating is almost unheard of and it is a game where the referee’s word really is law. What other game can boast that?”
Gerry played rugby for Coleraine for many years and has recently been heading up the very successful mini rugby organisation at the club. He is a qualified coach and has many years experience working with young people in a sporting context.
Gerry is looking forward to getting down to the hard work and said: “I am keen to develop rugby for boys and girls in non rugby playing schools and I will be offering training both inside and outside the school day. I will be organising and delivering programmes and events to promote rugby and recruit young people to the sport.
“I believe that it is very important to develop a healthy youth section in local rugby clubs to provide the players who will be the lifeblood of the club in years to come.”
If you would like further information on this initiative contact Gerry at Coleraine Rugby Club or Ulster Rugby or through the Coleraine Rugby Club website or Facebook page. He will be happy to advise and help you.