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Novos Ninjas - The Future!

By Paul Norris

We've got some grand plans for the Ninjas starting in September, and we need your help!

As our team continues to grow, and our aims for them grow ever greater, the coaching team felt it would be helpful to let you know our plans for the team for the forthcoming season (and beyond). We can't achieve this without your help, so ways that you can get involved with the team are also explained!

The team
Next year the children will be playing u11 rugby, which will likely see a similar pattern to previous seasons with fixtures being a fairly relaxed affair.  However the season after sees some quite considerable changes:

  • The end of mixed rugby.  Girls cannot play contact rugby with the boys from u12
  • Semi-competitive competition.  The introduction of 'waterfall' cups with winners and losers
  • Significant team size increase.  Teams move to 12-a-side

We want to make sure that by the end of next season we have enough children playing to be able to put out 2 full teams each week, and to be able to enter 2 teams into competitions.  We therefore need to have at least 30 children available.

We estimate that means (with 5 players moving onto girls rugby) that we need to recruit at least 10 new players over the course of the coming season.

The training
Training will continue to be on a Sunday morning, however we are looking at the possibility of some midweek training as well. The focus of midweek sessions would be core rugby skills such as tackling, passing, communication and tactical awareness, allowing more time on Sunday mornings for match practice.  

Midweek sessions will be dependent upon us being able to use the pitches at Novos on a suitable weekday evening.

A change you will notice next season is a greater emphasis on timekeeping, both for training and match sessions.  We appreciate that lives are busy and traffic is unpredictable, but it's really important we are ready to start our sessions together and on time every week.  We'll be asking everyone to ensure they arrive 5 minutes before the scheduled start, and there will be penalties for any late arrivals!

The coaches
All the current coaches are staying with the team, however some cannot commit to being with us every week.  To ensure the players get the attention they need every week, and the coaches are able to take a break when they need to, our aim is to increase our team of coaches to 8.  That means we need to recruit 3 more coaches ideally from amongst our parents.  
Coaching needn't be a full-time commitment, and anyone wanting to help will get training.  Remember ALL of the current coaches started on the sidelines as parents!

The parents
The enthusiasm of everyone that helped at the County Cup was brilliant, and we'd love to get more of you involved in helping them team on a regular basis.  The help we need is not always coaching on the pitch! 

There are two roles in particular that we'd be really grateful for some extra help:

  • First aiders.  Parent first aiders would be a fantastic help as it allows the coaches to concentrate on the players on the pitch confident that any injuries are being well looked after on the sidelines.
  • Social secretary.  We'd love to have some more social events through the season, both with and without the children!  Some opportunities for team and club fundraising would also be great to explore.  This might be a role for one person or a group of people.

The trips and events
We have two major trips planned next season

  • Scotland - a trip to Edinburgh to play a return fixture v Stewarts Melville and watch Scotland v All Blacks at Murrayfield
  • Ninjas Tour - location TBC, but as ever as cheap as we can make it and as raucous as we can get away with, with fancy dress compulsory!

One change to the tour this year is that we are planning to travel by coach/bus.  We think the children will love the experience, although we may put them on a separate one to the parents!

We'd also like to organise some extra matches and events around Novos first team games - a great opportunity for the children to mix with the senior players and for parents to socialise.

How you can help
There are two main ways you can help us achieve our goals
If you are interested in helping with coaching, being a first aider or helping with the social secretary duties, please let us know so we can have a chat and discuss what's involved.
If you know of children, or the players know of children, who might be interested in playing for Novos, get their parents to get in touch or bring them along to a session.  We also have a touch rugby festival on August 13th they can come along to and try the game. 
If you have school fairs or other community events and can stick some flyers out or posters up that would be brilliant as well! Get in touch and we'll print out everything you need!

Thanks again for your continued support of the whole team, and here's to a brilliant 2017/2018 - see you in September!

Updated 10:38 - 13 Jun 2017 by Paul Norris

Where next?

Whitby Tour Details Everything you need to know for our tour to Whitby on 1st and 2nd April...
Novos Ninjas - Friendly Festival Information This Sunday is the Friendly Festival - being held at Whitley Bay Rockliff - here is everything you need to know!


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Sun 15 Sep
Friendly 1 – 0
Sun 17 Apr
Under 12s (The Ninjas) Black Rockets
Tournament 0 – 1
Sun 10 Apr
Under 12s (The Ninjas) Novos
Cup 0 – 1


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