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I coach a local rugby union side and I'm currently working with a team in Brazil to create a partnership. One of our players went out there a couple of years ago and has been in touch to see if we can create a link, this is fantastic and could be really useful for both parties. What I'm looking at is to see if anyone out there has created links like this and if so what they got out of it, what are the pitfalls and what kind of outcomes they were looking at?
We have started by simply looking at a player exchange and a tour but obviously there's the sharing of ideas etc. I'm keen to get something of real value but would like to get ideas from anyone who might have undertaken something similar.
we have two current overseas partnerships with Champions League handball clubs.
FC Barcelona and SG Flensburg-Handewitt.
if we take our partnership with FCB first, it is a players exchange with 5 places guaranteed every August for our U19 players plus 2 coaches, for 1 week. This is invaluable for the players and the coaches, gaining great experience and networking with their staff. The players must cover the of travel and accommodation but what the players gain is invaluable.
our partnership with SG Flensburg is similar but we have a closer exchange with their academy set up and they come to the UK to talk with our sports science contacts mainly around recovery. The opportunity is also there for our youth players to gain entry to their academy system and train in Germany for one year.
for me there are no pitfalls as both clubs are very keen to help develop opportunities for young players and coaches, so for me a win, win situation
Thanks for the reply. It sounds like an excellent link and pretty well established. How did the initial link up work and what were you looking at from this in the early stages? As a club we are committed to remaining amateur, we don't pay our players at all and want to keep it that way. The philosophy is to develop from within and hopefully the players are passionate enough to then remain with us despite the potential to be paid elsewhere. This might, however, mean that what we can offer players who come to us is quite limited in terms of the value added stuff that you've mentioned. I would be keen to offer something more than just an experience but it now has really started making me think about what we might need to do going forward!
we are also an amateur sport and will be for the foreseeable future.
As normal in sport the initial link up was done through networking opportunities. With FCB and I wrote to the academy director at SG Flensburg after reading an article about their newly launched Academy.
Our objectives where to offer our athletes the opportunity to feel what training at this level was and to receive feedback from their coaches on the level of our players and what is needed to improve future talent.
We do get players coming to the club, investing in their travel and training fees, and like you we offer no payment just a guaranteed performance approach to coaching and support. The young players know if they are working hard and putting in the hours they will get the opportunities that come with these links.
the only way forward for our sport in the UK and the future of the GB squads is for our players and coaches to sample this level and eventually break in to the system, bringing their experiences back here.
Very interested in this discussion, as I have only just return from Brazil coaching rugby out there for the last three and a quarter years.
While out in Brazil, there appeared to be many player going to play in Brazil, but very few Brazilians going overseas to play.
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