Dragons visit Huddersfield school
Super League stars, Catalans Dragons visited a Huddersfield school to pass on training tips yesterday.
Players from French team Catalans Dragons took time out of training for their crunch match against Leeds Rhinos tomorrow to visit Nortonthorpe Hall School near Scissett.
The rugby league professionals showed the pupils some typical training drills and helped them work out in the school's gym.
They included New Zealand international and ex-Warrington Wolves forward Louis Anderson, Fijian international Daryl Millard, Tongan prop forward Lopini Paea, French loose forward Jason Baitieri, Mathias Pala and Ben Fisher, who is on loan at the club from local Championship side Batley Bulldogs.
The Scissett-based school specialises in educating youngsters with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties and Daryl, who plays centre for the Perpignan-based team, said he thought it was a great experience for the children.
“I think that it's good to have a different voice for them at school and to do a little bit of physical activity,” he said.
“Rugby league is a way of expressing yourself that you can't really do in the street so I think it can definitely help with their discipline, working in a team, having their own roles and relying on each other.”
The visit was organised by PE teacher Ricky Wilby, who works with the French team when they are in the UK.
He said: “This kind of thing will help with building the children's self-esteem and confidence.
“It's about working together and it's an opportunity for them that will never happen again.”
Head of PE Ryan Gladwin added: “It's a once in a lifetime experience for them and they were in awe of the size of the players.
“Hopefully this will inspire them to develop a bit of interest in rugby and then go out and play it themselves.
“Rugby burns off a lot of energy and it's also a way to keep them occupied and diverts their behaviour.
“And rugby, more so than football, is a gentlemen's game as they've got to listen to the referee and have a bit of discipline.”
Head teacher, Dennis Shields thanked the club for allowing the players to come to the school “I would like to thank the players for giving up their valuable time and Ricky for organising the link up between ourselves and the club.
“For a club that is not from our area, yet from another country to allow a large number of international players to come and visit the children is something that is worthwhile and hopefully will benefit the young people in the future.”
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