We chat to Charlotte from Rugbytots Lincolnshire, who tells us about why your child will love taking part in their classes…
Firstly, I would like to say HUGE thank you to all parents and children who attended Rugbytots after my launch in September for their continued support – they truly are amazing…and to anyone else that has helped spread the word and supported us!
Launching in September 2020 was so special to me as I had dreamed of managing my own franchise since starting work with Rugbytots in the North East. The launch felt incredible, the children and parents are all so lovely!!
Of course, Covid gave us a little twist in our sessions! This involved cleaning equipment in between sessions, social distancing and washing hands regularly. Although this was unusual, we adapted our sessions quickly and the circumstances allowed me to think “outside the box” as to what the activities could be.
After a successful launch at Lincoln RFC, Nettleham (Saturday mornings) and North Hykeham (Sunday mornings) we are so excited to be launching classes in Sleaford when it is safe to do so!
Rugbytots – the background
Let me tell you how it all started… Rugbytots is franchise based and well established across the world in 17 different countries – founded in 2006. My first introduction to it was in Newcastle in 2016 where I worked for Rugbytots in the North East for 4 years, while studying Early Years and Childhood Studies at University.
I loved every minute of Rugbytots and I grew passionate for coaching, building relationships with children (and parents) and watching them develop. The fun and excitement I felt every session was amazing! I just couldn’t wait to move back to Lincoln to start all the fun here!!
What is Rugbytots?
Rugbytots is an activity class for 2 – 7-year-old children (and their parents), based on the core skills of rugby using adapted equipment.
Each session has a rhythm and routine – Warm up, Catch Pass, Obstacle course, Kicking, and a Fun Game at the end.
How does it support Physical Development?
Rugbytots supports the growth of important motor skills – running, jumping, balance, agility – the building blocks for an active life.
It also develops more specific motor skills which involve coordination – catching, passing, and kicking for example.
What about a child’s Social and Emotional Development?
Confidence is a recurring theme in Rugbytots. Not only is confidence grown by achievement – it also comes from being supported and encouraged while being introduced to new environments and surroundings, new people, new routine, and new activity.
Rugbytots provides valuable time for children to engage and connect with others of the same age, as well as adults outside their family – the beginning of teamwork! Cooperation, relationship building, and communication are all essential parts of life.
The enjoyment of achievement is a beautiful thing. Seeing the glow of pride and satisfaction in a child (and their parent or carer) when the ball is kicked over the posts for the first time is unforgettable! And that thrill of achievement builds confidence and self-esteem which is carried forward in other parts of life.
Rugbytots activities are designed to help children learn about problem solving in a very practical way. The process of learning a skill, and using that skill to – for example, score a try – provides an opportunity to build connections in the thought process without realising it is happening, and while having fun.
The listening to and processing of instruction from coaches and communication from others in Rugbytots provides opportunities to understand how the world works.
How does Rugbytots achieve all of this?
Rugbytots uses the core skills associated with Rugby and delivers them in a way that appeals to younger ages.
The environment is colourful, fun, accessible, and inclusive using safe and appropriate equipment.
The coaches are skilled, supportive, encouraging, energetic, enthusiastic, engaging, friendly, and welcoming.
The sessions are proven and trusted from many years of experience all over the world.
Routine is important
When children come to their first taster session, there is a new world to explore! A new physical environment, meeting new children/parents, and new activities can all be very exciting but sometimes overwhelming. This can mean that while they may spend some of the session interacting, but some of the session exploring their new surroundings and not fully taking part – this is all okay and normal! I encourage parents to be patient. Children need time to process and take everything in; and understand it at their own pace. Once children have become used to the surroundings and the routine of coming to the sessions they will soon settle and participate fully. Our sessions are designed to help build routines by having them set out in the same order –
A game at the end
We also deliver the same activities 2 weeks running to build confidence, competence and familiarity. To help settle the child into the routine we encourage parents to repeat the activities from the session at home, to help children become more familiar with the activity. For my part it has been absolutely amazing and really rewarding to watch children grow in confidence – from coming to their first session, and running freely, completely self-absorbed; to progressing after a few weeks of getting to know the activities, building a relationship with me, my other coaches and other children.
My message to parents
Rugbytots provides an opportunity for you as parents to be involved in your child’s playing and learning. Rugbytots can become one of the favourite parts of your child’s week, something they look forward to – and you can share that time and enjoy watching them grow.
We cannot wait to be back running classes again, we look forward to seeing new faces to join the fun… for now best wishes and stay safe x