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Loughborough Student... Loughborough Students RFC

IMS Super Series – Loughborough Students RFC developing the future coaches and referees.

By Ryan Stevens

After an exciting opening round last month, the second round of the IMS Super Series starts this Sunday, with two clashes between the four involved sides.

This is the second year of the famed IMS Super Series, which is a collaboration of both Loughborough Students RFC (LSRFC) and the Sport Experience Team. Aiming to promote the overall student experience within Loughborough by offering a high quality training experience for non-Loughborough Students RFC players ,and also developing and up-skilling current LSRFC players into delivering coaching and officiating opportunities.

Loughborough has always been known for its sporting success, as well as for its highly developed Rugby performance programme. This leads to an extremely high volume of applications to join the rugby programme at the beginning of the year. The IMS Super Series, which were introduced last year, provides a high quality rugby programme to individuals who were unsuccessful at trials.

Josh Toms Chair of Loughborough Students RFC had this to say about the opportunities for the IMS players;

“The IMS Super Series programme provides an opportunity for high quality coaching for all individuals that engage with the programme. Giving players from all halls the chance to show their abilities in full 15s rugby. It is the aim of the programme to develop the skills of these players in an enjoyable but competitive environment.”

This programme also provides the opportunity for our Performance and Development athletes to gain full rugby union coaching and referee qualifications, and to gain necessary experience by volunteering their time within the IMS Super Series programme. Leading the team is Henry Wheadon, who helps organise and assists the team’s coaches, Owen Waters who is the referee co-ordinator and finally Joshua Toms who oversees the entire programme.

Over the past academic year, our volunteer coaches have been responsible for squad selection, initial trials, planning and delivering coaching sessions and finally, organising the team during match day. To support the player coaches, they receive assistance from the men’s performance coaches and staff, and up-skilling workshops through the LSU’s Coaching and Volunteer Academy scheme.

Lead coach Henry Wheadon comments on the benefits of the scheme for the player coaches;

“The programme provides a great experience in starting out as a coach, many coaches are ex or current players which allows them to be involved in the flip side of their rugby experience. There are a range of benefits for coaches from organisational elements in training to tactical decision making on game day. I would highly recommend the programme.”

For inspiring coaches and referees, this scheme allows them to develop their leadership, teaching and coaching skills, which will be beneficial when seeking employment after graduation.

We thank all the players and staff member who have helped and development this amazing opportunity, and good luck to all teams this Sunday.