IT is all systems go at Richard Huish College where they are about to start the second year of hosting the Bristol Bears Academy and the establishment of the Huish Tigers XV who play their matches on the newly created Ash Meadows.
The driving force behind both of these initiatives is Chris Heal the head of rugby at Huish, who is well known in rugby circles across the region.
“Things have all gone pretty well for us during our inaugural season and I am happy with the progress we have made and the boys involved in the first year have performed well at an elite level.The beauty of what we are doing is that we are giving these local boys the opportunity and they rose to it.
“This current season will be our first performance intake for the Academy and after working with the Year 10s we have already got 45 on the Academy which we are going to cap at 50. We have been coaching these boys for a year so they understand the structure and the Bears ethos is the College ethos.
“What we have done is provide them with the best coaching environment and then post 18 its up to them where they go.”
Heal explained what the new intake onto the Academy have signed up for.
“The youngsters who are on the program get 12 hours of rugby per week which is a mixture of tactical and technical, playing, physiotherapy, strength and conditioning, nutrition and sports psychology which is included and this is all built around their timetable.They don it misses any lessons but they are very busy boys
“When they are 18, they can then go on and play for the Tigers and we had four students playing first team rugby with the team and this year we will have another four. At one stage last year when we played Exeter Uni at Ash Meadows there were 13 current or ex Huish students playingg in our first team- which is the idea.
“I started the Huish Tigers Rugby Club purely for this reason because a lot of these lads would not have been playing club rugby.
At pre season training Heal had 20 or so and 15 of them were community based players that have just decided that they want to come and play rugby with their mates.
“We want to make sure that everyone enjoys what they do so there are two strands to the Tigers- The Huish element and the community based element and they go hand in hand.”
After being promoted two divisions last year Huish Tigers start the new season in Somerset League Two .
“We need now to push on after being promoted two divisions at the end last season. We go to Somerton on for our first game and then Castle Cary , then we play against Bridgwater and Albion, Wellington and Wiveliscombe so we have got plenty of local games which is good for the boys as they will be playing against their mates.”
Huish Tigers train on a Wednesday evening at Ash Meadows, which is situated beyond Vivary Park and they should contact Heal on. email@example.com
Heal added: “This is an important year for the Richard Huish Tigers Rugby Club and the Bears Academy. We are lucky with the people we have got involved – we have got four Bristol coaches and I was invited to help with the Bears senior under 18 Academy this season which is a real honor.”