Ballymena RFC’s Youth Development Plan is paying dividends as the club have been awarded the Ulster Carpets Club of the Month for March.
Ricky Huey, Ulster Rugby’s Regional Rugby Lead, was on hand to deliver the club’s prize of a bag of rugby balls courtesy of Ulster Carpets plus 30 tickets to an Ulster Rugby game at the Kingspan Stadium, in recognition of their excellent Club Development Plan.
As one of the leading clubs in Ulster rugby, Ballymena has always recognised and valued the importance of their youth structures as a pathway for attracting and developing local players.
Their main focus has been to establish strong links with local high schools and GAA clubs.
Heading up a team of dedicated coaches at U14, U16 & U18 level is Youth Convenor Don Pattison whose passion and enthusiasm has been instrumental in developing best practice within the club development plan.
Upon receiving this recognition Don commented: “We work closely with Ulster Rugby staff, through the regional forums, to ensure that the Ballymena club benefits from every opportunity provided by Ulster Rugby.
“Be that ensuring all our coaches are appropriately qualified, have attended concussion workshops and also the regional coach development workshops that run alongside the player development pathway.
“This ensures that all our coaches are fully up to date with all the latest coaching methods and also that our best players are identified early and brought into the Ulster player development pathway.
“We are delighted to receive this award and see it as recognition of all the hard work that has gone on to ensure that Ballymena provide the correct environment to develop local players.
“Our aim is quite simple, and that is to provide all our young players with quality coaching, regular competitive games and a welcoming, friendly safe environment.
“I am confident that we currently provide this and I fully appreciate all the hard work and dedication of the entire coaching team and ongoing support from the club.”
For more information on Ballymena Rugby Club, contact Don Pattison (07816 777367) or Tom Wiggins (07801 738359).