Wednesday 31 January. Mr Phil Marshall, Coach, Omagh Academicals Rugby Club.
Philip shared his love for the game of Rugby, which developed at school in Belfast and continued throughout his playing career. Deciding to something give back to the game he studied and became a level 4 coach.
He described how, when appointed to Omagh Academicals eight years ago, in addition to developing the senior teams, he wanted to take rugby to children who would have no opportunity to play the game in the Omagh area. He now goes into local schools, to provide an alternative for pupils who have never had the opportunity to play rugby and do not fit into the established GAA or Football Teams. Under the auspices of Ulster Rugby he is able to offer free coaching in schools. He has been made very welcome in all the schools he has visited and hopefully has helped to break down barriers.
Rugby he strongly believes is good moral development for young people. Players can be competitive on the field but at the end of the game they have respect for each other, for the laws of the game and for referees. Members added their own thoughts and reminisces about the game and there were questions about sponsorship of stadiums, the world cup, payment of players and the wellbeing of players.