The Grange School, Santiago, Chile

The Grange School
The Grange School

You maybe asking yourself how and why The Grange School, Santiago, Chile…?

This opportunity came about when I attended a Conference hosted by Independent Coach Education (www.independentcoacheducation.com), sponsored by The Rugby Site (www.therugbysite.com) and given by Wayne Smith (ex-New Zealand World Cup winning coach and current Technical Advisor to The Chiefs Super Rugby Franchise who are the current ‘Back-to-Back’ Super Rugby Champions in 2012 and 2013).

As with opportunities like this I always would like to ask a few questions to the presenter to learn as much as I can from the opportunity…So after Wayne’s presentation, I stayed behind at the end waiting patiently for the right moment to approach Wayne to ask him some questions…He said “sure, lets take a seat”…We spoke for 10/15 minutes about a few things…during that time Wayne asked: “Do you fancy coaching in Chile?”…I said…”Why not…”

Wayne Smith
Wayne Smith

We exchanged email addresses and when Wayne returned home to New Zealand he passed on to me the email addresses of two guys who are part of the Old Boys Club, which is linked to The Grange School, in Santiago. I then communicated with these two guys at the Old Boys Club and arranged a phone call…a few weeks had passed with emails back and forth as well…during which time they had passed on my CVs to the school…Once I had clarified the position with the Old Boys Club…I then communicated with the school…Within the space of 2 months I had signed and sealed my future of becoming the Director of Rugby at The Grange School, Santiago, Chile…on the other side of the world…with a whole new, fresh challenge ahead of me…

Southern Hemisphere

After my 6 week coaching trip to the Southern Hemisphere I was mentally ready…to take the plunge of coaching abroad…to move to the other side of the world…to explore new challenges…to take on a new challenge…to continue my ‘Coaching Journey’…to continue to be the best I can be…

Denstone Logos

To stay at Denstone College would have been the easy thing to do…to continue the many successes I had there year after year…I would have continued…to create the performances of the 1st XV…to produce professional player after player…to perform on the National 7s stage…to develop and improve the rugby environment…I would have continued to produce fine young men year after year…BUT I felt I had taken things as far as I could with “red tape” preventing me from taking the Denstone College Rugby Experience to the next level…PLUS I had carried out the ‘Strategic Plan’ I created during 2005…and then so much more…SO I felt the time was right after all the successes at Denstone to look for my next challenge…the next step in my coaching development…the next stage on my ‘Coaching Journey’…

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Old Grangonian Day…’Dads v. Lads’…The Grange School

There is a long tradition of rugby in Chile…there is the Association of British Schools (ABSch) organisation where schools play matches against each other…there is the invitational schools John Jackson XV…there is a healthy senior mens 1st XV club competition…the Chile National team play International matches against the likes of Spain and Portugal and other South American teams to try and qualify for the Rugby World Cup…the Chile U20s particiapte in the IRB World Junior Trophy Tournament…and the Chile National 7s team play in the South American Games…the Pan American Games…IRB 7s Series qualifiers…and the IRB Las Vegas 7s and/or Hong Kong 7s Tournaments…So as you can see there is a breadth and depth of Chilean rugby…

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The key challenges would be getting used to the different culture…the different way Chile would do things…the native language and having to learn Spanish from scratch…getting to know new people and building new relationships…seeing how the education system would be different…coaching players from 8 to 18 years old…teaching/coaching many different sports; football, handball, cricket, athletic events, swimming, gymnastics, softball and obviously rugby…working in a day school…and planning how best to utilise the number of physical activity sessions in a week; a ‘core’ Physical Education lesson…a Games lesson…and 2 ‘extra’ sessions after school…plus a fixture day at the end of the week on a Saturday…

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