Ulster Rugby vs Clermont

VOLUNTEER PROFILE: CHARLIE FARRELL, DUNGANNON RFC In our Volunteer Focus series, we will be profiling some of the outstanding rugby volunteers and highlighting the tremendous work carried out by them.

In this feature we will focus on Charlie Farrell, youth coach at Dungannon RFC. While still a young man himself, Charlie first got involved in volunteering two years ago at Dungannon Rugby Club, where he currently fulfils the role of U16 youth coach, as well as coach for the club’s U12, U15 and U18 girls’ teams. In relation to how he became involved in volunteering, Charlie commented: “I got involved in volunteering so that I could give something back to the sport and club that has given so much to me. Through rugby I have been able to make friends all over the world and it has allowed me to travel and play sport in other parts of the world. I first started coaching when I was in New Zealand - that’s when I discovered how much I enjoyed it. As soon as I returned home to Dungannon I wanted to carry on coaching and see what I could do to help my club. Throughout my career as a player I have been coached and helped by many volunteers; after realising the impact those guys had on me I decided that I should go out and do what I can to try and encourage the next generation of rugby players as best as I can.” An extremely dedicated volunteer, Charlie can be found coaching six or seven days per week with the various teams, which takes a lot of commitment, as he says: “Coaching the U16 boys involves planning and delivering sessions on a Monday night and then taking the team on match days - organising buses, playing kits, making sure players are on time and know where they are going, as well as coaching the team during their matches. I also help out on Monday nights with the other youth teams taking specialist sessions if their coaches need help with a particular aspect of their game. “Coaching the Dungannon ladies involves everything from planning and delivering sessions on Wednesday nights to organising blitz days/games for the girls. It’s the most challenging role I have because I am trying to coach three different age grades. Last season I also volunteered to take rugby in some of the local schools to try and encourage some more girls to play rugby at the club.” While Charlie’s volunteering requires huge commitment, he acknowledges it is also extremely rewarding: “For me, the best thing about volunteering is seeing other people enjoying the sport I love. It’s great to come down to the club any night of the week

and seeing the rugby fields full of players. I believe my role as a coach is to help all of my players to play to the best of their ability so when I get to stand on the sideline during a match and watch the boys and girls play rugby, enjoy themselves and come off the pitch with a smile, it makes all the hard work as a volunteer worthwhile!” In addition to his duties at Dungannon RFC, Charlie was also a key part of the management team for the Ulster U18 girls, who won the first ever Inter- provincial series at that level this year. The girls won all three games against their provincial counterparts on route to winning the series, and Charlie cites this as the highlight of his coaching career: “Watching the Ulster U18 girls win the first ever Inter-provincial series was fantastic. We had worked a lot with the girls over the summer, so it was great just to see them win their first game against Leinster, but for them to go on and win their other two games was just incredible.” Charlie was also recently awarded the 2016 Young Sports Coach of the Year by Sport Northern Ireland. In honouring Charlie, the judging panel commented: “Charlie adopts an extremely professional approach to his coaching, showing extreme dedication and effort throughout the year to improve the teams he has worked with, other coaches and himself.” If you would like to get involved in volunteering at your local club please contact Kerry Spence, Ulster Rugby Volunteer and Policy Development Officer on volunteer@ulsterrugby.com




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