Peebles Colts At Featherstone Castle – 7-9 August 2009

A group of 20 players from the Peebles Colts Squads continued in their build up to the start of this year’s season by heading into the Northumberland countryside and embarking on a weekend of various activities.

The venue for the training camp was Featherstone Castle, near the village of Haltwhistle in the Tynedale area.  This venue is run by the Tynedale Colts stalwart John Clark, and there is no truth in the rumour he was perched on top of the battlements attempting to sneak a look at this year’s lineout’s!!!

The weekend consisted of rugby sessions, fitness, teamwork, inputs on strength & conditioning, health & nutrition, goal-setting, standards and codes of conduct.  The recurring theme throughout this process was teamwork.

Included in the staff for the weekend were 2 excellent instructors from Alba Military Fitness ( ) which added a decidedly “boot camp” feel to the weekend with the early morning “wake-up calls” and subsequent runs!!!  Calum and Lorna set the standards high for the weekend and led the boys on several military style fitness sessions as well as a number of team building exercises.  All the boys responded very positively to these challenges and rose to the occasions with several displaying outstanding leadership qualities throughout.  Their input no doubt helped focus their minds on the other activities.

The team mixed up the sessions with some social activities which even saw them taking to the cricket square for a challenge match on the Saturday evening. There was some “interesting” bowling styles which may have raised a few eyebrows at Lord’s, but some not too bad batting.  One side even managed to score over 50 from 10 overs, which is probably a better run rate than the English team in the last Ashes Test!!!!

The Peebles coach, Graeme Paterson said “This weekend has been a great tool not only in our preparation for the coming season, but also beyond that, in terms of educating the players on a number of areas.  One of the main aims was to improve the players understanding of teamwork and build a stronger unit, mentally as well as physically, and through the hard work of everyone involved in this weekend I think we are well on the way to achieving that goal.   The lads were challenged throughout the weekend and the pleasing thing was they faced these challenges together and worked to overcome any problems.  It was a very intense programme and alot of ground, literally, was covered both on and off the field and it has been a very worthwhile exercise and one we would look into repeating.  What the boys must do now is take the work they have done over the past 3 days and implement it into not only their rugby, but also their personal lives as well and they will see a positive difference in a number of areas.  This weekend was not only about their rugby development, but almost as importantly, their personal skills being developed as well. In conclusion it has been an excellent weekend for Peebles Colts and was a success down to the teamwork displayed by the management team (Neil & Dave) coaches (Graeme, Paul & Alan), Calum & Lorna from Alba, but in the main the players who stepped up to every challenge set for which they must be congratulated.”

Peebles Colts now look towards completing their pre-season preparation with some game time as follows;

Peebles Colts Under 18’s
Saturday 15th August v Portobello Colts (away), 2pm K.O
Saturday 22nd August, Langholm Colts 7’s
Sunday 23rd August, Melrose Wasps 7’s
Monday 24th August v Currie Colts (away), 7pm K.O

Peebles Colts U-16’s
Saturday 22nd August v Selkirk (home – Gytes), 1.15pm K.O