Phoenix Ulster Rugby Academy staff and players, both past and present, helped to launch this year’s Ulster Rugby Senior Summer Camp at Jordanstown, which offers young people taking part the chance to experience a week in the life of an Academy player.
The Ulster Rugby Senior Summer Camp, sponsored by independent retail group Centra as part of a package of support for the full programme of Ulster Rugby Summer Camps, is for young people aged 13 to 17 years.
The camp is specifically for those with previous rugby experience, is based at the University of Ulster, Jordanstown, and will last for five days.
Under the guidance of Ulster Academy High Performance Manager, Gary Longwell, and his team, young people attending the camp will gain an insight into the pathway taken by Ulster’s Chris Henry who attended the Academy from 2003 to 2006 and current Academy player, Nevin Spence.
While the senior camp will be led by qualified IRFU coaches and development staff, High Performance coaches from the Phoenix Ulster Rugby Academy will take specific training sessions throughout the five days, based on the various aspects of rugby union.
These sessions will focus on the individual skills of evasion, catching, passing and decision making, as well as team and unit skills, such as back-line attack and forward play.
In addition, strength and conditioning coaches will be on hand to offer practical advice and guidance to participants.
As well as the practical sessions, Ulster Rugby Summer Camp staff will offer advice on nutrition for young rugby players, and will hold a workshop on mental preparation.
Young people attending the senior camp will also have the opportunity to sample the excellent facilities at the High Performance Centre in Jordanstown and learn more about the training involved in playing higher level rugby.
Commenting on the Senior Summer Camp, newly-appointed Ulster Rugby Talent ID Officer, Darryl Callaghan, said: “The senior camp is an excellent opportunity for young people experienced in rugby to further their skills under the watchful eye of our much experienced High Performance and IRFU coaches.
“The facilities at the High Performance Centre are fantastic and will give the participants a great insight into the environment of a player at this level.
“Chris Henry is a fine example of a player who came through the Academy system and made the transition to professional rugby. He is now a proven leader within Ulster Rugby and is currently with the Irish squad on their tour to New Zealand and Australia.
“Nevin is a member of the current Academy squad, who gained his first cap for Ulster this past season and who continues to work with High Performance staff to prepare for what he hopes will be the step-up into the professional game.
“By spending a week at the Ulster Rugby Senior Summer Camp, the young people will gain a taster of the pathway taken by both Chris and Nevin during their time at the Academy.”
Application forms are also being distributed to schools and rugby clubs across Ulster and are available from local Centra stores.
Full information on this year’s Ulster Rugby Summer Camps and how to book a place are available on www.ulsterrugby.com