Ayr RFC sent a group of 40 Ayr-Wellington U15 girls and U16 boys and 12 staff from Ayr Community Rugby Trust to train at Castres-Olympique under the direction of local coaches for 14 days, during which time they were immersed in the 'French flair' philosophy, a different approach to training usually undertaken by players and clubs affiliated to Scottish Rugby.
All participants acquired a deep knowledge of French rugby flair, and are now able to reproduce sessions (coaching staff) and to perform it on a rugby pitch (young players). All the new skills, methodologies, techniques and abilities connected with this style of playing and coaching will contribute to the professional profile of the participants, and provide them with more chances to secure and retain a job in professional rugby in the future.
Furthermore, the overseas experience has had a tangible impact on the skills possessed by participants. Their adaptability, diplomacy, self confidence, self assessment and self awareness, intercultural communication, team building and networking have all benefitted from this experience.
As well as working with coaches from the Castres-Olympique academy, players got the chance to do specialist sessions with the likes of 1st XV hooker Marc-Antoine Rallier, and ACRT coaches observed their senior team counterparts in action.
They also had two days of beach rugby training in Montpellier, and team building exercises including kayaking and rock climbing, as well as educational classes.
Erasmus+ is the European Union’s (EU) programme for education, training, youth and sport, with the EU committing £12 billion to the programme between 2014 and 2020. In the UK, the programme is managed by the Erasmus+ UK National Agency, a partnership between the British Council and Ecorys UK.
The project is funded under Key Action 1 of the Erasmus+ VET learner and staff mobility.
Stuart Fenwick, Ayr RFC Academy director and ACRT development officer, has stated: "This was a unique opportunity for the players and coaches, and everyone really embraced the French flair philosophy. Now the players can't wait for the new season and the chance to put all they have learned into practice in their regional and national competitions."
For more information about funding opportunities visit www.erasmusplus.org.uk, or use the hashtag #epluspeople to see what other projects are doing across the UK.
For more information about the project name, please contact Stuart.Fenwick@south-ayrshire.gov.uk.
Erasmus+ is the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport for 2014-2020. It significantly increases EU funding (+40%) with an overall budget of €14.7 billion (£12 billion) for the development of knowledge and skills and aims to increase the quality and relevance of qualifications and skills.
Two-thirds of its funding will provide grants for more than 4 million people to study, train, gain work experience or volunteer abroad in 2014-2020 (compared with 2.7 million in 2007-2013). The period abroad can range from a few days up to a year.
In the UK, it is expected that nearly 250,000 people will undertake activities abroad with the programme.
Erasmus+ aims to modernise education, training and youth work across Europe. It is open to education, training, youth and sport organisations across all sectors of lifelong learning, including schools education, further and higher education, adult education and the youth sector.
Erasmus+ provides funding for organisations to offer opportunities to students, teachers, apprentices, volunteers, youth leaders and people working in grassroots’ sport. It will also provide funding for partnerships between organisations such as educational institutions, youth organisations, enterprises, local and regional authorities and NGOs, as well as support for reforms in member states to
modernise education and training and to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and employability.
The programme is managed in the UK by the Erasmus+ UK National Agency, which is a partnership between the British Council and Ecorys UK.
Further information from www.erasmusplus.org.uk