BARTON RUFC has become one of the only clubs in the north of England to be called a ‘Kids First’ club after being selected to pilot a Rugby Football Union initiative aimed at putting children at the forefront of its development programme.
Kids First Rugby introduces new rules designed to increase involvement, improve skills and performance, while also providing a clear pathway for progression in the game.
Tom Cowgill, Barton minis and juniors chairman, said: “We were delighted to be put forward by the RFU as the pilot club in Staffordshire for this great initiative.
“As a club, our focus has always been on putting the kids first and being inclusive.
“I think this comes through in the way we coach – it’s all about the kids developing their rugby skills in a safe, friendly and very enjoyable environment.
“With the increase in numbers in our minis and junior sections over the past few years and seeing lots of happy, smiling faces leaving the pitches on a Sunday morning, I guess we must be doing something right!”
Glyn Bennett, Barton safeguarding officer, said: “The Kids First approach aims to improve the rugby experience for our children, coaches and parents.
“Our ultimate objective is to make sure that the kids are safe, that they develop their rugby skills at their own speed and have a great time doing it.
“For us, it’s never been all about winning matches. We’d much rather that, through our coaching, the kids not only develop as players, but also develop a love for rugby.
“That is ultimately how we will keep more players in the game.”