The RNRU launch their 2017 Coaching, Training and Referee Course Programme

The students get plenty of opportunities to practice their first aid skills
The students get plenty of opportunities to practice their first aid skills

Did you know that the RNRU facilitate a series of coaching, training and referee short courses in the Portsmouth, Plymouth and Weymouth areas?  The courses are open to all RNRU and other rugby club members and can be booked via the RFU website.  The full details of courses can be found on our website and if you require more information please contact the RNRU Rugby Development Officer.

The latest course to be run was an RFU Level 2 Emergency First Aid Course (Pitch Side), hosted by the RNRU and held in HMS Temeraire's Naval Service Sports Accommodation lecture room on Saturday 3 December 2016.  The course was organised and run by Dave Wakefield, who is an RFU First Aid Educator and the RNRU Community Coach in the Eastern Region.  The course venue was arranged to meet the needs of both the RNRU candidates and those attached to United Services RFC Portsmouth.

The course was fully booked (12 students) a number of months ago and included several RNRU members including Ady Cherrington (RNRU RDO),  Paul 'George' Hillan - Head Coach of the RNRU Women,   Nathan 'Pony' Moore -  Head Coach of the Eastern Region/Navy Sharks and John Manners - Head Coach of HMS Sultan.  In addition there were a number of personnel from United Services Portsmouth who are looking to become 'Age Group' First Aiders.  US Portsmouth is an affiliated club to the RNRU and a voting member of the RFU and the RNRU Community Coaches work closely with them to bring rugby to the local community.

The course itself contained an online first aid module lasting between 1.5 - 2 hours, an online 'Headcase' concussion module and a 6 hour practical/theory session which included subjects such as: Roles & Responsibilities of a First Aider, Primary/Secondary Survey, Seizures, Unconsciousness, CPR, Choking, Shock, Wounds and Bleeding, Fractures, Minor Injuries, Spinal Injuries, Head Injuries/concussion, Return to Play procedures, to name but a few.  To date these courses have been delivered to some 2000 plus rugby club members around the country.

All of the candidates were put through a full programme; a large majority of the content required them to take part in practical demonstrations, showing their knowledge and understanding of first aid.  It is an enjoyable, practical course.

The RNRU were fortunate to be able to use the outstanding facilities in the Naval Service Sports Accommodation lecture room, which is provided courtesy of the RN & RM Sports Lottery and supervised by Paul Mowers, the Accommodation Manager.

The next first aid course is being held at Devonport Services Rugby Ground on Saturday 4 February 2017 from 0900-1600 and is bookable via the England Rugby website.  And plans are in place to run a course in Scotland in the New Year.  For more information contact: or

Words by Dave Wakefield
Images Royal Navy Rugby Union/© Dave Wakefield