Stand Together Saturday: Seaford and Canford

Spirit of Sport AwardLast month, Seaford College joined forces with Canford School and renamed their usual rugby fixture as Stand Together Saturday, a day designed to prioritise the experience and enjoyment of rugby for our pupils, above winning and losing.

Seaford student playing rugbyBoth Seaford and Canford have similar values, and each school is proud to help their students discover themselves and their passions. The idea behind the day was to focus it on enjoyment, right through the age-groups, and foster good relationships between players, parents, and staff from all sides and all teams. Before the game, Seaford’s rugby coach, Kevin Rich, said: “The idea behind this was to engage parents a little more on match days and attempt to help them to learn about how their touchline behaviour impacts the sporting experiences of pupils.

Canford playing rugby“Both Canford and Seaford are trying to create the best possible environments for young people to thrive in their sporting lives. With regards to rugby, the very physical nature of the game can sometimes draw out the worst in those watching and we feel that certain behaviours such as yelling instructions, jeering and berating the ref should have no place at school matches.

“By promoting an openness and convivial atmosphere in which it is normal for both sets of parents to connect and simply enjoy the game for it’s own sake we feel that this will minimise these negative tendencies. We put together a programme that highlighted some of these thoughts and also emphasized the importance that both schools attach to using sport as a vehicle to develop character and resilience.”

Below are some of the tips that were included in the programme, which you can also download below.

Stand Together Saturday Programme

Seaford playing against Canford

HOW WAS THE GAME ?

The game is so much more than who won and lost. Of course winning feels nice but let’s celebrate the character,
temperament, endeavour, bravery and teamwork. It’s not professional sport. The pupils are learning to get better at
something they love doing. Try using ‘how was the game’ instead of analysing why a team may have won or lost.

SHARE THE SIDELINE

One of the best parts of watching a Premiership match live is to share in the experience with supporters from other
teams. It is a pleasure to connect and watch sport to appreciate skill and strategy from both teams. To simply enjoy
the game without wondering what the score is. School sport should not get caught up in creating divides. Sharing the
sideline puts the game first.

MODELLING BEHAVIOUR

Of course we want the best for our children. But ‘best’ is perhaps not always having to be ‘THE STRONGEST’. We want
pupils to build character and play with spirit in their sporting lives. One of the greatest gifts that we (as adults) can give
them is to model courage, integrity and respect; especially in defeat. How does our touchline behaviour shape character and enhance the enjoyment for the players during the game?

In the matchday programme, both Seaford and Canford students shared what they love about rugby, which you can read below.

What do you love about rugby“Rugby has allowed me to meet so many different people, if I look at my close group of friends I have at the moment I have played rugby with them. The sport is so great because in the game you do everything to win but then when the final whistle goes we have the respect to shake hands and catch up. Some of my closest friends have been people I have played against and got to know after the match. The physical demand of the sport is another reason I love rugby. When playing rugby you put everything on the line and you know you have done this when you feel the aches and pains the next morning. Finally rugby has given me many memories and experiences which will stay with me for a long time.”
James, Canford

“I love playing rugby at Seaford College because not only is it brilliant fun, but also it is so inclusive. Everybody can play for a team no matter what their ability. Personally, what I love mainly about rugby is that there is so much competition for places in the team. So, I must improve myself every week to make sure I stay in the A team. Also, there is no prejudice between teams, the A team and B team are considered equals and nobody is looked down upon.”
Caelan, Seaford

“The reason I like rugby so much and why I have carried it on for so many years is because in no other sport do I get the sense of a brotherhood as strongly as I do in our current team in rugby, and a desire to put our bodies on the line for each other for that win. In no other sport do I think you will get a group of players so passionately playing for each other and that is why I love rugby, and this year especially.”
Cosmo, Canford

“I love rugby because it gives you an opportunity to express yourself in a way through hard work and skills, whilst it also helps me to stay fit and look at the nutrition side of sport which I can take into everyday life. But the main thing is
it helps to block out everything else that is happening in my life meaning I don’t have to worry about anything whilst I’m playing rugby and knowing I am enjoying myself.”
Jack, Seaford

Character Web“At the end of the home games played at Seaford, visiting Canford parents awarded a ‘Spirit of Rugby’ plaque to a Seaford player that best reflected the values of each school,” added Kevin Rich. “The Seaford parents selected a Canford player too. This was a gesture to remind parents that both teams are fighting for the same cause and to try and enjoy the game a little more neutrally – not an easy task when parents are watching their own children but something we think is worth is working towards.”

 

New Zealand School visit Seaford College on their rugby tour

Palmerston North Boys perform the HakaOn Wednesday 11th October, Seaford College hosted Palmerston North Boys’ High School from New Zealand, here in the UK for a rugby tour.

Along with our netball teams, our rugby teams had been in New Zealand on tour themselves only a few months previously, and it was fantastic to welcome a school from New Zealand to the beautiful grounds here at Seaford College.

The experience of hosting a New Zealand side, and in particular, to watch them perform the Haka, was hugely exciting, not only for the players, but for the many people who came along to watch the game.

“What a fantastic experience for our students at the College,” admitted Liam Doubler, Director of Sport. “For the community to come down and witness that… it’s what touring, it’s what sport’s all about.”

Palmerston North are one of the strongest school rugby sides in New Zealand, and this was the final stop on their tour, so it was always going to be a tough ask to get a victory, and so this proved.

“The level, and the intensity that Palmerston played with, was outstanding,” said Liam Doubler.Palmerston and Seaford 1st XVs

In the 1st XV game, Palmerston took a very strong lead in the first half, and whilst Seaford improved dramatically after the break, the damage had been done and they ended up losing 0-30. Despite the scoreline, the Palmerston tour administrator, Lindsay Calton, felt that “even though the score might have blown out a little bit, it was still a physical game, a tough game, and the boys are really tired.”

The 2nd XV also struggled to cope against the strength and power of the Palmerston boys, losing 5-42.

A defeat is always hard to take, but it’s important to take the positives from them, and to focus on what can be learnt for the future. “They’ll definitely take something from the game,” said Kevin Rich. “And I think it’s a great experience for them to be able to push on after half term. They’ll reflect on this game, review it, and they’ll build on it.”

The Palmerston coach also felt that Seaford rugby was going in the right direction, and predicted that “In three years’ time it’ll be a different game.”

We certainly enjoyed hosting Palmerston North, and if they go on any tours in the future we would gladly host them again!

Day 7 & 8 – Australia and New Zealand Rugby and Netball Tour Blog

Tour Blog Day 7 & 8

Rugby Pitch at Kings School

Today was a good day… all the usual waking up for breakfast went on before we headed to the Signal Hill, right at the top of Dunedin. The sights were incredible, right across the whole city. We went straight from here and onto the Cadbury World factory tour, which lived up to expectations. We think that most enjoyed the part where they could pour their own liquid chocolate into little pots with all the toppings. Most were feeling quite full of chocolate by the end.

There was a little time to shop and buy lunch in Dunedin again before transferring to Kings’ and Queens’ High Schools for our matches. Continue reading

Rugby 7s expert Dai Rees trains Seaford Under 18s

Dai Rees watching Seaford rugby 7s trainingAhead of the start of the Rosslyn Park 7s rugby tournament this week, the Seaford College Under 18s squad were joined for a training session by an
expert in the art of 7s rugby. Dai Rees is the Head of High Performance for the Hong Kong Rugby Union side, but he has also coached the Welsh 7s national squad. Dai was at Seaford College last week Continue reading

Under 15s Rugby XV into Plate Semi Final of the Natwest Schools Cup

Try for Seaford U15 Rugby XV in Quarter FinalLast Thursday, Seaford College’s Rugby XV hosted Wirral Grammar School in the Quarter Finals of the Natwest Schools Cup Under 15s Plate competition. It was a very close, thrilling game of Rugby, ending 18-15 for the hosts. Seaford College will now play Sir Thomas Rich’s Grammar School in the Semi Finals, week commencing 13th March.

Continue reading

Seaford College’s Rugby Teams are Showing Strength and Depth

1st XV Captain running with the ball vsStJohnswebSeaford’s U14 A team are unbeaten so far this term. For the first time in the history of the school, the U14s won matches against Hurst at A, B and C team level. The A team won 26-17, the B team won 45-0 and the C team won 19-12. Seaford’s Head of Rugby, Edward Bowden said: “The results against Hurst show the strength and depth at all levels at Seaford. Our strategy to spread our coaching resources across all levels and all age groups is paying dividends. We encourage the C team at this level with tag rugby and non-contact games to help them engage and enjoy the sport. With the U14 As unbeaten so far we are looking forward to their progress in the Sussex Cup after half term.”

With a remarkable 6 out of 7 wins this term, the Seaford 1st XV have been in excellent form this season. Highlights include an impressive victory over Pangbourne College, a strong win over Portsmouth Grammar School and a ferociously fast paced win against St John’s Leatherhead.Matt Kouris vsStJohns

Although unsuccessful in their encounter with Hampton, one of the top schools for rugby in the country, the team can be proud of the close score of 14-16. Captain Andrew Dixon said: “We had a terrific preseason and have continued to develop as a side as the season has gone on. The coaches are the best Seaford has ever had. It’s Mr Bowden’s second year of coaching the 1st XV, and he has added depth to the side with his skills and knowledge. We learn something new every training session.”

Edward Bowden said: “The 1st XV are playing with real pace and power throughout the team. There have been notable performances from Jake McQuade, Lewis Morton, Matt Kouris, Hugo Squires and Jasper Brazier. The team all have a good attitude to training and are benefitting from the performance analysis sessions we provide at Seaford. They are also dedicated to our early morning pool recovery and gym sessions.”
Commenting on all of the rugby teams at Seaford Edward Bowden said: “We have had a strong half term with positive performances across the board. We plan to rest and recover over half term and look ahead to the fixtures after the break. There has been a good attitude from all players and the momentum of The Rugby World Cup has brought out increased enthusiasm for the sport.”
Lewis SampsonvsStJohnsweb

Edward Bowden is also currently coaching at Harlequins, and has played at club level in Italy. Another asset to the coaching team is headmaster Mr John Green, who is an ex-Saracens professional, and Harlequins Academy Coach. Andrew Dixon said: “Mr Green – awesome. He comes out training in his suit, he is phenomenal, and he has played at such a good standard. The forwards are learning a lot of amazing techniques from him. Even when he’s had an open morning, he makes the effort to come and support us with our matches on a Saturday. He’s very approachable, a great character, and it’s nice that he gets involved, it’s very motivational. He gets physically involved in the training, and it’s not every day you get to tackle your headmaster (in a suit).”

Seaford’s 1st XV squad has several representative and county players: Matt Kouris, Lewis Sampson and Jake McQuade play for London Irish, Andrew Dixon, Lewis Morton and Hugo Squires play for Sussex. With training for these sides once a week, school fixtures on Saturdays, and county matches on Sundays, members of the team play rugby most days a week.

StJohns2webrugby-seaford-stjohns2015LR

 

 

 

 

Here are the 1st XV results for the term:

Hampton Lost 14-16
Pangbourne College WON 24-5
Merchant Taylor’s WON 21-5
Townsville (Australia) WON 38-10
Worth WON 24-10
Portsmouth Grammar School WON 24-6
St John’s Leatherhead WON 36-31

Here’s an independent report from our rugby game at St John’s – a schools rugby classic

rugby-seaford-stjohns2015LRAnyone making the trip to Leatherhead yesterday afternoon was treated to one of the great spectacles of schools rugby as Seaford College secured a 36-31 win at St John’s.

http://www.fifteenrugby.com/seaford-and-st-johns-serve-up-a-schools-rugby-delight/