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 a HUGE thank you to all parents and children who attend our Rugbytots classes for their continued support – they truly are amazing…and to anyone else that has helped spread the word and supported us! We have now reached our first year of bringing Rugbytots into Lincolnshire- although we could have chosen an easier year, we have loved every minute of it – filled with joy big smiles and lots of fun!
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 in 2016.
After a successful launch at Lincoln RFC, Nettleham (Saturday mornings) One NK, North Hykeham (Sunday mornings) and Northgate Sports Hall, Sleaford (Saturday mornings). We also just launched classes in Market Rasen at Market Rasen Leisure Centre on (Saturday mornings).Our Lincoln RFC, Nettleham venue has moved to Lincoln Minster School – meaning classes will be held in the Sports Hall there. The venue change is due to needing indoor space for the winter months.
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 a fun structured play programme that provides activity classes for boys and girls aged 2 – 7 years old (and their parents or carer – “ their grown up”)
Our classes provide a fun environment for children to learn new skills, meet new friends and have an exciting introduction to rugby.
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 see that it is very important to stay active, our sessions supports he 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 and feeling part of a team! 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 grown up) 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.
The listening to and processing of instructions from coaches and communication from others in Rugbytots provides opportunities to understand how not only each activity works but also provides how the world works.
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 – for example, holding the ball in two hands or kicking a ball from a cone – provides an opportunity to build connections in the thought process without realising it is happening, and while having fun.
Rugbytots use activities that involves numbers and counting for example “What’s the Score Mr Coach” – A firm favourite game! Colours, play a huge part in our activities; for example one of our games is “Cone Head” – when a coach calls a colour you have to run to find that colour cone and put it on your head and balance it back. Shapes also play an important in our activities. The fun within these games allows the child to process while learning.
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 a parent to share and enjoy watching your child grow in confidence, meeting new friends, and being part of a team.
It allows you the time to be involved in your child’s playing and learning.
Not only is the child learning new skills to use in rugby but it also provides new skills for life through building confidence, respecting others and coordination skills – along with many other skills.
Rugbytots is fun and exciting – it could become your child’s favourite part of the week.
We look forward to seeing new faces to join all the fun…