M&J coach Willis Mungai discusses RFU development training
Author: Simon Plumb
Willis Mungai is one of Lymm’s many M&J volunteer coaches. However, he has recently undergone a series of training events with the RFU and describes how much he enjoyed the positive experience, and benefitted from it, while also meeting Eddie Jones.
‘During Covid, and Lockdown, I’d attended a few online RFU sessions on post-covid training, retention.’
‘After this, I was enrolled through the local RFU Delivery Team on a Communities of Practice Mentoring Programme with a small cohort of other coaches from local clubs. One of them I recall had just finished in the Women’s Premier 15s.
‘The mentoring scheme involved collective monthly online mentoring sessions to provide an opportunity to share and promote models of good practice in retaining and recruiting ages 16+ into the game.
‘The aim was to implement strategies shared/learnt back into our individual clubs and work to ensure the transition of this important age group is well managed and player-centred.
‘They were non-assessed unlike the Irwin Mitchell style mentoring schemes and additionally, provided an opportunity for 1-2-1 meetings & observations in training – mine happened last summer.
‘Around April this year, I received an invitation for the Honda Volunteer Recognition event in appreciation of my role as a coach. There were approx. 16 other coaches selected from various clubs across the UK.
‘As part of this programme I was invited to a dedicated Coach Development session with other coaches, and special guest England Men’s Head coach Eddie Jones.
The video from that event and Eddie’s thoughts can be seen opposite.
‘I started coaching at U9’s when the minis game at the time progressed from tag to contact rugby & 8/9 years later.
‘I’m still keen having not only coached, but done everything else in between i.e. assistant coach, kit coordinator, first aider, referee & worn other various hats an M&J coach does to ensure things run smoothly and the environment is right for our young players.
‘It’s not all down to me as I have been fortunate enough to have a great bunch of supportive parents, a decent bunch of players and collaborated with other good coaches to deliver that positive environment.
‘Next season, I am excited about the revamped Colts Academy where the coaching will now be led by former first team skipper Tom Bray to assist Junior & Senior Colts coaches in developing our young players in conjunction with our 1st XV squad.
‘Equally, Lymm has arguably an unrivalled commitment from other M&J coaches who give up their time week in week out so they also deserve praise and recognition for their tireless efforts. They are indeed a credit to our club.
‘I’m confident there will be more M&J coaches who will also gain the opportunity to experience this annual coaching event. I certainly recommend it to them.’