Swiss U18 Women participate in Development Camp in England
Switzerland was among an elite group of fifty rising stars from five of Europe's most aspirant nations - Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Russia and Belgium - who were invited to take part in a special U18 women's rugby development camp, organised and funded by the RFU in February 2015.
The Women’s Development Camp, which also included coaches and referees, was organised as part of the RFU's Unity Project (a legacy project for the 2015 Rugby World Cup which brings together 17 developing European nations with English counties, aiming to develop links and grow the game across the continent) and also forms a part of the RFU's contribution to the "IMPACT Beyond" programme, following on from WRWC 2014.
The five countries taking part – Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Russia and Belgium – are currently ranked 8th to 12th in European XVs with at least three and possibly four competing in the European Trophy later this year. They will also be competing for the final European place in the 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup (alongside Spain and sixth ranked Six Nations team) next year, as well as places at the Olympics and the 2018 Sevens World Cup. Many of the young players who took part in the camp at the Grosvenor Hall in Ashford could be a key part for their countries in these campaigns over the next few years. For each Union a number of players, two coaches and a referee were selected for the camp, which involved skills coaching and sessions on a variety of topics including match analysis and nutrition.
(English Text courtesy of Scrumqueens.com)
The participants for Switzerland were
On-site Report by Game Official and Coach Sarah McNamara:
On Monday, February 16th 2015 a Swiss contingent of 6 young players (Margot Lutz, Ludivine Colombara, Julie Luzi, Niki Zaal, Lucile Pasche & Rahel Wiesendanger), 2 coaches (Vincent Prébandier & Chris Stuart) and 1 referee (Sarah McNamara) travelled to Kent, England for a 4 day junior women's rugby training camp run by England Rugby (formerly the RFU). They were joined by similar teams from the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden & Russia and the playing squad for the camp was extended by several girls from the England academy. The entire event was staffed by England Rugby technical & educational officers.
The players participated in many on-pitch games & skills schools which covered all core aspects of the game and also learned about strength & mobility training, warm-up & warm-down and recovery sessions as well as participating in team-building exercises and a values session.
The coaches & referees took part in a mixture of classroom sessions and hands-on coaching with the players. All camp members went to Aldershot on Tuesday evening to watch the England Women U20 take on the Army in a high quality match.
The players found the pace & intensity of the training to be very high and enjoyed this challenge. They felt that the areas of their game that improved the most were their body position, tackling and ability to offload. They loved that so much of the training was game-based to allow them to put their new skills into practice in a contextual way and they made many new friends. The girls were a credit to their clubs and to Switzerland with an excellent spirit, friendliness, commitment & discipline, they represent a bright future for the women's game!
The coaches were shown a whole new philosophy of coaching which focuses on the reasons why they coach & referee and why the players play. The key aspects of this method include focusing on mental & social skills as well as technical or tactical skills, making training sessions largely game-based, asking questions to generate self & peer feedback and leading the players through guided discovery to enhance their learning & develop their decision making skills.
The camp was a huge success for all involved and all nine Swiss representatives are anxious to bring their new skills back to the pitches of Switzerland for the season ahead.