Ex-England rugby captain Lewis Moody’s program opens up to girls
Students at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy have now joined a rugby program run by former England and Bradford-on-Avon local captain Lewis Moody.
After five years of the Mad Dog rugby enrichment scheme run just for boys at school, the fitness and character building program founded by the Bath Rugby star has been opened up to female players.
The Mad Dog scheme, named after his teammates’ nickname for Moody’s, was set up by him to use the standards and values of rugby to nurture youngsters and support their academic success.
The rugby program is integrated into the sixth form of several public schools and academies, providing a two-year rugby program for students working for A-level, BTech and RFU coaching awards.
“The program was initially only offered to boys, but Lewis was keen to expand it to girls as soon as possible,” an academy spokesperson said.
“The programme’s annual impact report, which included periods of students learning at home due to lockdown, had shown that 90% of participating students believed it had a positive effect on their self-confidence.
“80% said it had a significant effect on their mental well-being and 95% noted an improvement in their physical health.”
Now the rugby and strength training sessions are open to all students, and sixth graders have a comprehensive program including wellness, nutrition, confidence and leadership building included in their program.
The program is delivered by two Mad Dog trainers, based full-time at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy.
Lewis Moody, who lives in Bradford-on-Avon, said: “It’s been a long time coming, but I’m beyond delighted that we are now able to provide the same opportunities for girls and boys.
“We wanted to see the benefits of rugby and well-being brought to all students equally across the school, and I’m delighted with the number of girls who got involved.
“Coaches focus on students as individuals, helping them to grow into confident, respectful and considered young leaders who set high standards within the community. With girls and boys now engaging in the program, they will inspire all students throughout the school. »
One of Mad Dog’s coaches, current Welsh Rugby International Gemma Rowland, said: “Rugby made me believe in myself and gave me a place where I could really be myself. I learned to believe in my strengths and this encouraged me to see the possibilities and opportunities around me. Without rugby, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
Anita Ellis, director of the academy, added: “The quality of the coaches at Mad Dog is exceptional and they are always looking for ways to integrate their thinking into the wider school. Their desire to make sports a fair chime with all that we aim to do as a school, and I couldn’t be happier that we partnered with them.