Rugby Gamification Inventor Visits

By Ballyclare High School on 30 September, 2022


Gamification ‘inventor’ Russell Earnshaw visited school this week to work with our rugby players and staff. Russell known as Rusty, was able to observe and coach with staff all year levels from Year 8 to senior rugby.

Rusty’s playing pedigree is outstanding he is a Rugby European cup winner with Bath, Cambridge Varsity blue winner and a former England International 7s player. His coaching background ranges from England 7s, GB students, professional club rugby and now he is director of his own coaching business. His coaching philosophy is based around games, small sided, challenges within these games with rewards for good practice but all firmly rooted in fun.

Mr McKeever, Director of Rugby had been developing and challenging how we coach in school and became involved with Russell to this end. “I wanted to be challenged in my thinking towards our coaching. Review this through another person’s eyes, to find the gaps in my coaching and refresh our outlook for development and player pathway. “Rusty was able to ask questions while being authentically curious to improve players and coaches in a very relaxed manner.” stated Mr McKeever.

Current coach, Mr McIlwaine commented, “He reduced my coaching focus in sessions to being more relaxed and showing how little things make big difference. Enjoyment and fun are key for learning and retention. Small-sided games, more touches for all and challenge sets for range of ability”

The concept of training with play and in gamification is not new to Ballyclare. We hosted and joined several events that are gamified, so our players understand it. This has been a great learning experience for how to include this approach daily and weekly into our game’s timetable session.