NEWS

A SURPRISE FOR VOLUNTEER RUGBY COACHES

First published in The Drum & Sport Industry

On behalf of Mitsubishi Motors in the UK, and in collaboration with the RFU, ENGINE Sport recently arranged for England Rugby Head Coach Eddie Jones to drop into a Zoom call with five unsuspecting volunteer rugby coaches from across the country. Having worked with Mitsubishi for the last four years, ENGINE Sport understands the importance Mitsubishi places on the role of grassroots volunteers, recognised through its Volunteer Recognition Programme among other things.

With the grassroots season finished and the nation on lockdown, coaches have time to take stock, research, develop and plan for the future. As a result, ENGINE Sport wanted to work with Mitsubishi Motors to continue helping inspire coaches and other volunteers up and down the country, so they are best placed to support their players off the field and ready to put them through their paces when they return to action.  

Bearing this in mind, we came up with the idea that England Rugby’s proud Performance Partner Mitsubishi Motors in the UK could team up with England Rugby Head Coach Eddie Jones to surprise five volunteer rugby coaches with a coaching development masterclass to remember.

Tuning in from Japan via Zoom, Eddie spoke with the coaches about how their teams are faring during lockdown and discussed strategies for keeping players engaged in the current climate. Eddie also provided unique insight on what makes a good leader, citing the three key characteristics as knowledge of your team and sport; strong management skills of staff and players; and being the most enthusiastic person in your club.

Katie Dulake, General Manager of Marketing and Communications at Mitsubishi Motors in the UK said: “During these troubling times, Mitsubishi Motors remains committed to supporting English rugby at all levels. Volunteers and coaches form the heartbeat of the grassroots game and we recognise this each year through our Volunteer Recognition Programme. The surprise volunteer coaching masterclass delivered by Eddie Jones was another way to give back to this community and say thanks to those who work tirelessly to support the game we love.”

A short film showing highlights from the call is live on England Rugby and Mitsubishi Motors social channels, while a recording of the full conversation is available on Mitsubishi Motors’ YouTube channel.

Commenting on the work, Tom Gladstone, Head of ENGINE Sport, said:

“With rugby in lockdown, we felt it more important than ever to showcase Mitsubishi’s commitment to supporting and rewarding grassroots rugby volunteers. Eddie Jones, with his unique insight and engaging personality, was the perfect host, and bought into the idea immediately. It was great having such support from England Rugby and Mitsubishi Motors to deliver a unique experience for five deserving volunteers.”

ENGINE sport, Mitsubishi, sport, sports marketing, events
ENGINE sport, Mitsubishi, sport, sports marketing, events
ENGINE sport, Mitsubishi, sport, sports marketing, events

Commenting on the webinar, Eddie Jones said:

“It was an absolute pleasure having the chance to drop in on the five coaches and chat with them about their current coaching situation and provide some tips on how they can manage their teams at the moment. Volunteer coaches form the backbone of rugby in England, and any opportunity we have to give back to the rugby family should be welcomed. Thanks to Mitsubishi for organising the webinar and for the ongoing support they provide to the volunteer community.”

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What an amazing surprise when Eddie jumped on the call – it was a special moment and the smile on my face was huge! It was a pleasure to discuss different themes around coaching, selection and tips for the current lockdown situation. Eddie is someone you can listen to all day, and with his wealth of experience, I instantly knew this would be a big learning moment. I am so grateful to Mitsubishi for inviting me on to the call.”

Jim Taylor, Volunteer Assistant Coach at Haywards Heath RFC
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