By John O’Sullivan 

 

Connacht Rugby will host a strength and conditioning webinar for girls playing under 14, under 16 level rugby as well as under 18 and senior female Rugby players on Wednesday, December 9th at 7 PM.

 

Presented by Ann Caffrey, an athletic development coach with experience with elite and underage sports teams in Rugby and GAA, the webinar will firstly look to introduce young female Rugby players — and their parents — to exercise techniques that will prepare them for playing at a higher age grade. 

 

With the objectives of increasing understanding of exercises and their benefits, lowering the risk of injuries, and sharpening functional movements, attendees of the webinars will be better prepared for the introduction of competitive set pieces to under 16’s rugby — line outs and scrums — when the 2020/2021 season gets underway.

 

The under 14 and under 16’s specific part of the webinar will take place between and 7 and 7:45 PM, while the under 18 and senior — which will focus on developing mobility, strength, and speed of players with aspirations of playing adult Rugby — section of the informational evening will take place between 8 PM and 8:45 PM.

 

Emer O’Dowd, Connacht Rugby’s Women’s Rugby Development Officer for North Connacht, says that the strength and conditioning(S&C) webinars will provide a stepping stone for younger players into the increased physicality of higher age grade Rugby, with contested scrums and lineouts starting at under 16’s level.

 

“It’s exciting because we have never done it down to U14’s before, this will be the first time we have done it,” O’Dowd said of the series of webinars. 

 

“It’s a stepping stone into training age and it will be all bodyweight and form and technique. There will be fundamental movement and technique training, so they can do the exercise properly. It will also aid in improving their movement, so they can get into that tackle technique and also help them in the scrums. It will make them stronger and, overall, that will help with injury prevention as well.”

 

The S&C webinars are the latest in a series of free educational talks and seminars provided for free by Connacht Rugby. Gavin Rackard, the professional team’s lead performance nutritionist, recently presented an online seminar to underage Rugby players and their parents on the importance of nutrition. There are also free online resources for club coaches to upskill, in the form of animations of training drills that are narrated by qualified coaches at Connacht. 

 

O’Dowd believes it is important, especially during a pandemic, that Connacht Rugby engage with their community by providing online information sessions for players, coaches, and parents to increase their knowledge on a wide variety of rugby-related topics.

 

“It’s great, in addition to everything else we are running,” she said. 

 

“It is really important(the programme). The earlier we get it started, the better. During covid, it gives us opportunities like this. Plus, with the introduction of scrums and lineouts, at under 16 level, it will help them. It will help them to strengthen their bodies to be able to lift in the line out.” 

 

To register for the webinars, please fill out the following form:

 

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=apLJY8e08023pkvfMZvnHtYsZS3Ah5FKtpKyY5q40UNUQjFCN0JTU1kxUFlJSlhFUVIyOENETkNHQS4u

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