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Years 7-12 Activities day trip to ‘Behind the Scenes’ at Twickenham Stadium

13 Students spent the day at Twickenham Stadium, where the activities started with games aimed at developing understanding of the different fitness requirements of the various positions: Speed – Endurance – Power – Agility and Strength. One game involved selecting animals and super heroes in what might be their best positions, from which a formidable team comprising Spiderman at full-back; a bull, rhinoceros and grizzly bear in the front row; cheetahs on the wings and The Hulk at No. 8 emerged. Catching and passing would have been the main limiting factor, but they would have posed an intimidating physical challenge for their opponents.

A session with the Rugby Football Union’s Anti-Doping Manager was a role-play, with the students being treated as if they were academy players on an elite sport pathway. They learned what they should expect if they were subject to testing under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code. Their consensus was that it seemed intrusive, but necessary, in order to combat the scourge of drugs in sport and to ensure fair play. The session took place in the media room at the stadium, so the students had a light-hearted opportunity to role play being the head coach, answering questions about selection and tactics for an imaginary up-coming test match.

With the England team away in Japan for the Rugby World Cup, the students had a one-off opportunity to view the gym where England players train, rehabilitate after injury and warm-up before test matches. They took in a range of equipment, from hi-tech tools for measuring and facilitating recovery, through to Olympic weightlifting platforms and weight stacks.

The tour of the World Rugby museum at the end of the trip was the highlight for many of the students. They enjoyed the inter-active displays that gave them feedback on their prowess in the physical attributes needed to play rugby.