A FORMER player and coach of Basingstoke Rugby Football Club who went on to achieve international success is returning to train coaches and create a development programme.

Richard Cheetham MBE is joining the club to support and train the men’s senior coaches.

Cheetham played at Basingstoke in his youth, then went on to coach with Nigel Redman when he was BRFC head coach.

When Redman accepted a position with the RFU in 2001 as national academy coach, Cheetham joined him at England U19s for the Six Nations and Junior World Cup in Chile.

He then moved to New Zealand, coaching at club and provincial level, winning a league title with Massey University and achieving success in Sevens with Manawatu.

Since 2005, Cheetham has been a senior fellow in sports coaching at the University of Winchester and works as a coach developer for UK Coaching, the RFU, and the UCI at the World Cycling Centre in Switzerland.

The recognition nationally and internationally has led him to coach education work with GB Wheelchair Rugby, Rugby Canada and GB Slalom Canoe. He was awarded UK Coach Developer of the Year in 2019.

In addition to training the Men’s Senior Coaches, Cheetham’s role will also see him create a development programme for BRFC‘s coaches throughout the Kids’ First, Youth and Ladies sections.

He will support the coaches, share the principals of coaching, and hold monthly practical sessions with the aim at developing the coaching team at the club.

Cheetham said: “I’m really pleased to be back coaching at Basingstoke, having played for the club myself back in the nineties!

“It’s wonderful to be able to help and support other coaches who really want to progress in and develop their coaching skills, ensuring that they get the most out of their players.”

James Jagged, chairman of Basingstoke Rugby Club, said: “BRFC’s ethos is fundamentally that rugby should be fun for everyone. We want to ensure that children develop a passion for the sport from a young age, and we encourage that passion and enthusiasm to stay with them throughout their entire rugby career.

“We are thrilled and honoured that Richard has joined our coaching team. His qualifications, achievements and experience are extensive and he is already adding immense value to the Club. Richard is very approachable, his involvement and commitment to BRFC will undoubtedly benefit our coaching team and all our players.”

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