MRFU invests in the future

Tuesday, January 17, 2012, 16:04

Maltese Rugby has achieved enormous success in the past twelve years to become arguably the most successful international team sport in Malta’s sporting history.

In order  to make the next quantum leap into the highest levels it will be essential to really involve children and youth to become the next generation of players.

With the invaluable backing of GASAN MAMO the process of harvesting the huge interest  shown by Malta’s children and youth has now begun, despite the sad lack of facilities.

From the beginning of October the MRFU have employed 4 Community Coaches and a Development Manager from the UK, in the capacity of developing Rugby Union amongst schools and clubs on the island and in particular the youth between the ages of 7 to 19. Their role is not only restricted to youth development but also in the education of coaches, players and officials and promoting the ideals of the IRB and also discipline and respect.

The 4 Community Coaches despite there ages have a wealth of experience of playing and coaching between them, and have taken up the role with enthusiastic professionalism.

Steven Meenagh originates fromGlasgowand has achieved his UKCC level 2 coaching award and has a wealth of other qualifications including UKCC strength and conditioning, IRB Ready and a child protection course. He is currently coaching in 7 different schools and also coaches the youth and ladies at Birkirkara RFC.

Lewis Naphausen also originates fromGlasgowand has his UKCC level 1 coaching award. He is also very experienced in the organisation of mini and youth rugby events and competitions. He is currently coaching children at 10 different schools and coaches and plays for Overseas RFC in Pembroke.

Darren Lamon is fromCheshireand has his UKCC level 1 coaching award. He has also a varied amount of coaching qualifications and has developed theCheshireunder 14’s, and worked with the Premiership side Sale Sharks. He is currently coaching in 10 schools and coaches the ladies and youth of Kavallieri RFC, for whom he also plays.

Mark Davey originates fromKentand has a BTEC National award in sports science. He has played rugby at a high level for Blackheath and has also touredArgentina. He is currently playing for the Maltese National team and has coached Kent U14’s. He is currently coaching in 6 schools due to his international duty and coaches the youth and ladies at Falcons RFC.

Jim Hunter who is the new Development Manager, has recently left the Royal Navy after 26 years where he was employed as an Aircraft Engineer and Operations Manager and has now moved toMalta. He has his UKCC level 2 coaching award and has played for 35 years and has more recently coached and managed rugby clubs for the past 10 years.

There has recently been a change over in Development Manager as Jim could not be released in time for the post and Alex Grieve stepped in for 2 months. He too was an experienced coach having been involved with Premiership side London Irish’s youth programme for several years

Despite the short period the MRFU development team have been here inMalta, they have coached some 1949 children of all ages and both sex in the schools and colleges and 728 rugby players within the 4 clubs.

On weekends the Development team organises youth competitions, and 10’s and 7’s events for all ages and gender. It also carries out coaching schools on Sunday mornings at various locations for the development of the youth focusing on core skills and above all making it fun for all concerned, making them popular mornings. These sessions are also used to develop and mentor club coaches both old and young, so that we soon start to reach out to a larger audience with more qualified and experienced men and women. We are now running our second rugby coaching foundation course to be held at Marsa, these coaches will then move on to level 1 and hopefully beyond. More of these courses will be run post Christmas as we have a large demand for numbers.

The Development Manager will also start to visit schools in the New Year so the development footprint will grow, and we can then reach schools that have so far not had the benefit of our visits.

To conclude this has been an extremely successful 2 months in the development of both players and coaches, and more importantly taking the game of rugby to the young children within the schools and colleges. The response from clubs and schools has been extremely positive and we look forward to the New Year where we will start to develop a National U20’s squad of Maltese club players and continue to encourage and develop the youth into rugby union.


Mr Martin Galea. President MRFU

“The Union places great emphasis on youth development which is crucial for the growth rugby in Malta. Through Gasan Mamo we have been able to source Youth Development Officers from the Scottish Rugby Union with whom we have an excellent relationship.

We have great hopes for this venture which we intend to continue over the years.”

Mr Julian Mamo. Director GasanMamo.

“GasanMamo has renewed its sponsorship agreement with the MRFU in order to support learning and growth opportunities for children.  “Throughout the years that we have been supporting youth rugby in Malta we have followed closely its development and successes with much satisfaction,” said Julian J. Mamo, Director at GasanMamo.  “This initiative is yet another landmark that will help develop further the potential among youngsters and maintain Malta’s standing and achievements in the field.”

Mr Damain Neil. National Coach & Director of Rugby. MRFU

“Our major objective is to increase the number of players playing rugby in Malta., creating self sustainable clubs with full junior and youth squads, resulting in the National U18 Squad competing in the 2013 European Championships, and providing a conveyor belt to the senior National Squads.

The intiative involves 5 Community Coaches and 1 Development Manager with an outstanding experience of the game, with enjoyment as the main ingredient. To provide schools and clubs with the highest quality of delivery and support, whilst developing teachers and coaches.

A Massive thanks goes to Gasan Mamo without whose support this could not be achieved, and I am extremely grateful to the coachesmofficials and volunteers who freely give their time, enthusiasm and expertise and whose positive and encouraging input enriches and strengthens the sport and the community. “


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