AFYA and first Oxford University RFC Ivy League tour of USA

The Oxford Blues will kick off their first RFC Ivy League tour of America with matches against some of the most prestigious Ivy League universities.

The 15 day tour will include The Blues training with Harvard Rugby Football Club, Yale University Rugby Football Club, Princeton University Rugby Football Club and West Point, a leader in USA Collegiate Rugby.

There will also be a series of rugby matches against the prestigious Collegiate All-Americans, Mystic River Rugby Club in Boston and Old Blue RFC, one of the oldest rugby clubs in America.

Highlights of the Collegiate All Americans game at the Talen Energy Stadium in Philadelphia are due to be shown on ABC, NBC and Sky Sports.

AFYA Sports Training is sponsoring The Oxford Blues on their tour and its name will appear on all the kit during the team’s tour to the East Coast of America.

The tour is centred on the fixture with the Collegiate All-Americans, which will be held in conjunction with AEG as the curtain raiser for the Newcastle versus Saracens Premiership Rugby clash at Philadelphia’s Talen Energy Stadium the same day.

Whilst they are on the tour AFYA will run coaching and tackle camps with The Blues with aspiring young American rugby players as well as running community outreach programmes in New York via rugby.

AFYA is led by Ben Wood, a former Army officer and qualified RFU coach, and James Wade, a top coach who was Head of Player Development at Wasps, Head of Sale Sharks Academy and is currently Head Coach at Oxford University RUFC (The Blues).

AFYA is proud to be supporting the first Oxford University RFC Ivy League tour of the USA

Ben Wood, Managing Director of AFYA, which has a strong reputation for sports coaching excellence in the UK, said: “We’re delighted to help sponsor The Blues during this exciting tour and it’s fantastic to see the AFYA name on the match top.”

Oxford University Rugby Football Club is one of the world’s leading and most well-known amateur rugby clubs. Founded in 1869, more than 300 Oxford players have gained representative international honours since then including Phil de Glanville, Tyrone Howe, Simon Halliday and Rob Egerton.

Current Oxford Blues Captain Conor Kearns said: “We’re delighted that AFYA is on board as a key sponsor for our first tour of the East Coast of America.

“The club has a great tradition of tours reaching around the globe and it’s an exciting prospect to once again bring a Blues squad to the East Coast.”

“Replicating tours of old, we will be making use of both academic and sporting ties between Oxford and some of the most prestigious universities in the world. It will be a great opportunity to grow as a squad but also represent student sport on a global stage.”

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How mindfulness can give you the sporting edge

Are you looking to give your sport that extra special edge? Perhaps you need help competing with the extreme pressure ahead of a big game.

It is thought that 90 per cent of a person’s sports performance is mental but how much time do you invest in it?

Mindfulness techniques have been around for centuries but are increasingly being taken seriously in the world of sport.

Here Richard Graham, Programme Director of Nuffield Chester, gives his top 10 mindfulness tips:

  • Start with WHY? Why do YOU want to learn about mindfulness and why do YOU feel it would be of benefit.  It is really central to any sort of behaviour change for you to have a strong ‘why’.  Mindfulness can help with a broad range of symptoms and can help you to deal with many effects of stress, but to make it personal you need to start with what you want to work on.
  • Try an app. There are some great apps out there to help you to learn and develop your mindfulness practice. Mindlab and Headspace are really good and are normally free to install and use initially. Top tip: if you work through their courses they may charge you.
  • Read all about it. I found that the work and books of Jon Kabat-Zinn were hugely valuable to me in not only understanding mindfulness but also to understand how I can make it work in my life and to be ok with not having the time to commit 45-60 mins a day to the practice.  I would recommend ‘Full Catastrophe Living’ and ‘Wherever You Go, There You Are’.
  • Breathing. If you are new to meditation, your rhythmical, regular breathing is a great and important tool to keep you in a good place to meditate.  It can also help you to return to a serene state if your mind wanders. If you haven’t tried it, have a go at Diaphragmatic Breathing – it is a great way to relax during practice.
  • Practice. It is called mindfulness practice, as that is what is required. Expect that each time you practice it will be slightly different. But that is ok.  If you don’t feel very good at it, that’s fine too. That’s why we practice!
  • Give what time you can. As with any ‘addition’ to your life, it is common for people to sometimes think they don’t have the time to do it. But remember, the chances are you have time to watch some television or scan social media each day. So why not replace 10 mins of this for some practice.
  • You are central to mindfulness. Mindfulness is not about clearing the mind or about transcendence or becoming a ‘master’. It is all about ordering and becoming aware of and allowing time for your thoughts so that you feel that you have an organised, spacious and calm mind. This takes time. Here are some other myths – https://www.nuffieldhealth.com/article/the-truth-about-mindfulness
  • Sports Trackers and watches. If you are a bit of a tech geek like me, you may have a sports tracker watch. Check your settings, as many of these have a mindfulness setting. Give one of these a go. It’s a great way to track your results.
  • Make new habits. The best results from mindfulness come when it is habitual. Research suggests that habits form between 66-80 days of regular practice, so don’t be hard on yourself and expect immediate results. The changes will be gradual and some you may not expect. I know from my experience that I have become better at dealing with challenging situations since I began my practice 10 years ago. I am far from perfect, but it has helped me to improve!
  • Be kind to yourself. If you are interested in the foundations of mindfulness and want to learn more about its ancient history, I would recommend reading some of the books of Pema Chodron. She really is fantastic as, despite the Buddhist approach being not exactly mindfulness, it may help you to be reminded that mindfulness is about being kind to yourself. Give yourself time and take a moment in each day to not have to react and to re-focus. Enjoy it!

Caldy RUFC had a great training session this week with AFYA

Our top coach James Wade visited the Wirral rugby club to work with their players.

Each player received specialised training using Shadowman’s innovative training products which helped them to develop their speed, agility and one-on-one tackling and tracking.

Conor Kearns

AFYA backs first Oxford University RFC Ivy League tour of the USA

AFYA Sports Training is sponsoring The Oxford Blues on their first Ivy League rugby tour to the USA.

AFYA’s name will appear on all the kit during the team’s 15 day tour to the East Coast of America.

The tour will include The Blues training with some of the most prestigious Ivy League universities in America – Harvard Rugby Football ClubYale University Rugby Football Club, Princeton University Rugby Football Club and West Point, a leader in USA Collegiate Rugby.

There will also be a series of rugby matches against the prestigious Collegiate All-Americans, Mystic River Rugby Club in Boston and Old Blue RFC, one of the oldest rugby clubs in America.

The tour is centred on the fixture with the Collegiate All-Americans, which will be held in conjunction with AEG as the curtain raiser for the Newcastle versus Saracens Premiership Rugby clash at Philadelphia’s Talen Energy Stadium the same day.

Whilst they are on the tour AFYA will run coaching and tackle camps with The Blues with aspiring young American rugby players as well as running community outreach programmes in New York via rugby.

AFYA is led by Ben Wood, a former Army officer and qualified RFU coach, and James Wade, a top coach who was Head of Player Development at Wasps, Head of Sale Sharks Academy and is currently Head Coach at Oxford University RUFC (The Blues).

Ben Wood, Managing Director of AFYA, which has a strong reputation for sports coaching excellence in the UK, said: “AFYA is delighted to announce that we will be helping to sponsor The Blues during this exciting tour.”

Oxford University Rugby Football Club is one of the world’s leading and most well-known amateur rugby clubs. Founded in 1869, more than 300 Oxford players have gained representative international honours since then including Phil de Glanville, Tyrone Howe, Simon Halliday and Rob Egerton.

Current Oxford Blues Captain Conor Kearns said: “We’re delighted that AFYA is on board as a key sponsor for our first tour of the East Coast of America.

“The club has a great tradition of tours reaching around the globe and it’s an exciting prospect to once again bring a Blues squad to the East Coast.”

“Replicating tours of old, we will be making use of both academic and sporting ties between Oxford and some of the most prestigious universities in the world. It will be a great opportunity to grow as a squad but also represent student sport on a global stage.”

The Oxford Blues is looking for more individual/corporate sponsors for the tour. Anyone interested should contact Conor by email: kearnsco@tcd.ie

https://afyasportstrg.com/

http://www.ourfc.org/

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

For more information, contact Lucy Mason at Mason Media on 0151 239 5050/07903 197402 or email:  lucy@masonmedia.co.uk

 

AFYA opens its new kit shop

We are delighted to announce the launch of our new kit shop.

Packed with everything you need to wear to look the part – and to play at your best – we now stock a wide range of branded sports kit.

All our kit is manufactured to a proven standard and is suitable for a wide variety of sports.

Available to buy are t-shirts, polo tops, tops, jackets and hooded sweatshirts. We also have sports shorts, skorts and fitted pants. Our kit starts from only £14.75 and comes in a selection of sizes from Kids to 3XL.

For more information or to buy AFYA kit please order online here.

 

Lymm Rugby Club

AFYA partners with Lymm Rugby Club

AFYA Sports Training has announced a partnership with Lymm Rugby Club.

Known for its sports coaching excellence, the AFYA team will be responsible for leading on a development program for both the players and coaches at Lymm RFC.

Technical development will include strength and conditioning, speed training, tactical and place kicking plus scrummaging and lineout. There will also be a focus on positional awareness and development, contact development, team tactics and diet and nutrition.

Guy Larkin, Coaching Co-ordinator at Lymm Rugby Club, said: “We are delighted to announce our partnership with AFYA, a company with a strong reputation for sports coaching excellence.

“AFYA share our passion for developing our players and coaches so we can raise aspirations, skill, performance and attitude at all levels.

“To match our ambitious plans off the field with our clubhouse project, we are also keen to make further investment to support our many volunteer coaches by helping them provide safe sporting experiences for our fantastic young players through regular work with AFYA.

“We have a very proud tradition of producing many great quality mini and junior sides at Lymm RFC and we wish to continue this success long into the future.”

James Wade, AFYA’s Chief Operating Officer and a top coach who was Head of Player Development at Wasps, Head of Sale Sharks Academy and is currently Head Coach at Oxford University RUFC, said: “This is an exciting partnership for AFYA. Whatever the level of a player’s ability, we offer all players the opportunity to achieve their highest level of performance.”

For more information visit www.afyasportstrg.com

http://www.trylymm.com/

 

NOTES TO EDITORS: For more information, contact Lucy Mason at Mason Media on 0151 239 5050/07903 197402 or email:  lucy@masonmedia.co.uk

AFYA

AFYA Rugby Camp coming to Wilmslow Rugby Club

AFYA Sports Training will be running a Rugby Camp at Wilmslow Rugby Club this summer.

The Coaching Camp will take place on July 27 and 28 and is open to players aged between 8 and 15. It costs £30 per day or £50 for both days.

AFYA, which recently announced a partnership with the leading tackling equipment provider Shadowman, will use their training tools in the camps.

Team building, leadership development and skills training will be key elements of the course.

Ben Wood, Managing Director of AFYA, known for its sports coaching excellence, said: “We’re looking forward to bringing Shadowman to Wilmslow Rugby Club. Shadowman’s innovative training products allow players to really work on their speed and agility as well as their one-on-one tackling and tracking.

“This is also great opportunity for young rugby players to be trained by our team of professional coaches and players who have played and coached at National or International level.

“We will be covering a wide range of techniques including understanding your position, fundamental skill development and assessment and defence and attacking principles. We will also be looking at positional skills and fitness testing.”

AFYA is led by Ben Wood, a former Army officer and qualified RFU coach, and James Wade, a top coach who was Head of Player Development at Wasps, Head of Sale Sharks Academy and is currently Head Coach at Oxford University RUFC (The Blues).

For more information or to book a place on the course visit https://afyasportstrg.com/

NOTES TO EDITORS

For more information, contact Lucy Mason at Mason Media on 0151 239 5050/07903 197402 or email:  lucy@masonmedia.co.uk

AFYA and Young Munster RFC

Shadowman and AFYA run first tackle camp for Young Munster RFC

Two of AFYA’s top coaches popped over to Ireland last week to help Shadowman Sports run the first specialised tackle camp for Young Munster RUFC.

Founded in 1895, Young Munster is a Rugby Union club based in Limerick.

Our coaches James Wade and Scott Pearson helped to run the Shadowman tackle camp for children aged between 7 and 13. Each child received specialised training using Shadowman’s innovative training products, which allow rugby players to develop their speed and agility plus their one-on-one tackling and tracking.

James Wade, Chief Operating Officer and Head of Training and Development for AFYA, said: “We had a fantastic time at Young Munster with over 210 enthusiastic children taking part.

“They were extremely receptive to the technical skills we introduced them to and they learnt a lot over the course of the day.

“We look forward to working with them again in the future.”

James Wade is also Head Coach at Oxford University RUFC while Scott Pearson has worked with Worcester Warriors, Stoke City and Sale Sharks in a number of key Strength and Conditioning roles.

www.afyasportstrg.com
http://www.youngmunster.com/
www.shadowmansports.com

AFYA announces launch of its International Rugby Academy

Fast growing AFYA Sports Training is expanding and has announced the launch of its International Rugby Academy.

The academy is being headed up by Director Juan Gonzalez-Mendia, a RFU Level 3 and World Rugby Level 3 Coach, who has coached various age groups at County level, the North of England and has been part of the England coaching staff at U16 age group.

Juan will work with James Wade, AFYA’s co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, to provide a unique and integrated approach giving players and coaches the opportunity to develop their skills and coaching techniques.

The Academy is a worldwide offering and AFYA will be working with a number of its key partners to deliver it.

Ben Wood, AFYA’s Managing Director, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Juan on board. He is an exceptional coach who has a great empathy with the children and young adults that are coming through our sports programmes.

“His knowledge of rugby, his coaching ability and his international connections with schools, academies and clubs make the AFYA International Rugby Academy an exciting proposition.

“Already, teams from as far afield as Argentina and Italy have expressed an interest in coming to our British camps.”

Juan said: “Joining AFYA and directing the International Rugby Academy will be a fantastic challenge which will combine my previous experiences working with overseas children and adults in what is undoubtedly a unique and exclusive product worldwide.”

AFYA was founded in 2013 by Ben Wood, a former Army officer and qualified RFU coach, and James Wade, a top coach who was Head of Player Development at Wasps, Head of Sale Sharks Academy and is currently Head Coach at Oxford University RUFC (The Blues).

AFYA, which means ‘Health and Wellbeing’ in Swahili with its Tribal symbol standing for ‘The Quality in Human Endeavour’, is headquartered on the Wirral, and regularly works with top level talent including rugby legends Charlie Hodgson, Shaun Edwards, Andy Titterrell, Kati Tuipulotu, Nick Wood and Chris Jones.

The company has partnered with Nuffield Health, MBNA, the Bank of America and M&S to provide the children of their staff with dedicated sports camps.

Earlier this month, AFYA also announced a partnership with the tackling equipment provider Shadowman Sports.

AFYA will use the Shadowman training tools in the UK to promote better rugby coaching techniques to rugby clubs and the sport’s governing bodies. AFYA will also be offering coaching packages and clinics using Shadowman.

As part of the partnership, AFYA will be taking Northern Hemisphere rugby tackling techniques to America. The company will be running a series of rugby tackle camps across the east coast in the latter half of 2017.