As the Rugby Football Union builds towards a World Cup on home soil, much of the focus is on regaining the famous Webb Ellis trophy won by Clive Woodward’s squad and Jonny Wilkinson’s right boot in 2003.
Yet with the tournament about to start, thoughts are beginning turn to another aspect of global sporting events: legacy.
We are excited to be able to share an insider’s perspective on one of the flagship projects designed to support the greatly increased demand for the sport that the RFU hope will follow a successful home World Cup: the QBE Coaching Club.
Catherine (Katie) Jewell , a full-time patent attorney and Associate at Beck Greener, has led something of a double-life since she started in the profession in 2006, first as a player with Saracens Women, and more recently as a coach.
As a player, it was at Saracens where Katie achieved her biggest accolades in the women’s game. Playing both at loose-head prop and hooker, she was part of the Saracens squad that won the women’s Premiership back-to-back in 2005/06 and 2006/07. After such highs, Katie was forced into over 5 years on the sidelines, through injury and time out needed to complete her professional qualifications. Unable to play and with professional commitments to uphold, she decided to experience the other side by becoming a coach, joining the coaching staff at Kilburn Cosmos.
“I think what coaching gave me was the opportunity to stay involved in rugby and to pass on a lot of what I had learned, to develop other players. It mitigated the fact that I wasn’t playing but it is a different animal: it ticks different boxes.”
Over the past three seasons Katie has worked with the men’s first team at Kilburn Cosmos RFC, and for the last two years she has also taken on the role of Ladies Chair at Old Albanians RFC.
Katie has been delighted to be involved with the QBE Coaching Club, which has been run as part of QBE Insurance’s commitment to sponsoring England Rugby and forms the mainstay of their plans for a fitting World Cup legacy.
“Coaching for me isn’t just about player development, it’s about individual development and about exchanging ideas,” explains Katie. “What I enjoyed most about the QBE Coaching Club was that it provided a chance to meet other coaches, working at all levels from mini-rugby to elite level, and to learn new approaches to coaching. Being able to get external input and feedback on the way I coach has been invaluable experience for my own development.”
The QBE Coaching Club was set-up with the goal of getting 2,015 coaches qualified to RFU Level 2 by the time the 2015 World Cup begins, and also to provide a forum and support network that will help those coaches push on to Level 3 and beyond. The ultimate aim is to provide an expanded coaching framework at grassroots level to encourage more youngsters (and adults) into sport in general, and into rugby in particular.
With perfect timing, it was announced last month that the QBE Coaching Club has hit its target of providing 2,015 newly-qualified RFU Level 2 coaches, increasing the number of level 2 coaches in England by 25% and expected to positively impact 50,000 players across the country. Over the next four years the QBE coaches are predicted to deliver over a million hours of coaching, and with 96% of them working alongside other coaches, it is also expected that there will be a knowledge transfer from the 2,015 QBE coaches to over 4,000 other coaches across the country.
Here at Beck Greener we are proud to have played a small part in supporting QBE’s work setting up the QBE Coaching Club and providing a legacy commensurate with the status of this global tournament.
For more information on this article, please contact Catherine (Katie) Jewell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katie with England Attack Coach Andy Farrell at Twickenham (above) and in action with her team at the QBE Pitch Day (below)
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