Our coaches across all sports have been working hard to adapt their coaching and training methods to ensure a safe environment in which pupils can to continue enjoy the wide range of sports and excellent level of coaching expertise that Oakham has always offered.
Following the guidelines that have been set by each of the relevant national sporting governing bodies, our coaches have applied measures that include sanitising equipment, adapted rules regarding contact, and training in small groups and year group bubbles.
Below is an overview of how our Winter Term sports are continuing to offer a richness of sporting opportunity for our Oakhamians and ensure that sport remains a crucial part of our pupils’ education and at the heart of School life.
Following the guidelines set by England Rugby, Oakham’s rugby coaches have been focusing on the development of key skills, such as passing, tackling and catching, until competitive fixtures can resume.
Play has been adapted to adhere to the endorsed 15 minutes of full-contact. Further to this, players’ hands and rugby balls are sanitised throughout training sessions, and pupils remain in year group bubbles and are split into smaller groups during training exercises.
Director of Rugby, Andy Rice, says, “This is a golden opportunity to develop basic skills and fitness. I believe that our players will develop better from this break in back-to-back fixtures.”
Following advice from England Hockey, the focus of coaching for hockey is to develop the skills, communication and fitness of the players after an extended break from any play. Coaching has also involved many players working closely with our Strength and Conditioning coaches and physios to make sure the health and fitness of players.
All pupils train and play in year group bubbles, with the 1st XI socially distanced throughout all training sessions. Coaches remain socially distanced from players during training, and one-way systems have been introduced. Players continue to sanitise hands and playing equipment throughout training, and each student has their own set of equipment. Year groups have a set colour bib, and these are cleaned at the end of each day, as is any training equipment. Any kit previously shared is now assigned to an individual.
Director of Hockey, James Bateman, says: “We have adapted our cleaning and protocols to ensure staff and student safety and I am delighted that the standard of hockey remains high and our players continue to develop and improve.”
In line with guidance from England Netball, coaches have ensured that handwashing, sanitising and social distancing on and off the court have become routine. There are designated training areas and and posts are sanitised before and after every session. Pupils also do not share bibs and netballs.
Following the guidance set out by England Lacrosse, currently only outdoor lacross is taking place at Oakham. Coaches sanitise the balls and equipment throughout training sessions, and each pupil has their own set of equipment. Each year group has a set colour bib and all bibs are washed at the end of each session. Furthermore, any protective equipment, including pads and helmets, are assigned to individual players.