Scottish Rugby hosts largest Game Development Conference
Scottish Rugby’s annual Game Development Conference returned to in-person delivery at BT Murrayfield on Sunday 29 May with record attendance.
Over 250 coaches and match officials from across the domestic game in Scotland engaged in interactive workshops on a range of topics such as using video game design in session planning, managing distractions as a referee, plus practical sessions on the International pitch breaking-down technical aspects of attack and defence.
Highlights from the conference included presentations from key-note speakers Gregor Townsend, Scotland Men National Team Head Coach, who explored the future of attacking rugby, and Kris Van Der Haegen, Director of Coach Education for the Royal Belgian Football Association, who shared insights from Belgium on the success of their pathway system and youth development.
Other guest speakers included:
- John Fletcher, Scottish Rugby Head of Player Pathway & Elite Coach Development
- JP Doyle, Scottish Rugby High Performance Match Official Coach
- Geraint Davies, Leicester Tigers Academy Lead Coach & Coach Developer
- Amy Price, Coach Developer at Grey Matters & English FA
- Duncan Mascarenhas, Associate Professor Edinburgh Napier University/Officiating expert
Neil Graham, Head of Game Development said: "I am absolutely delighted that the conference has finally been able to return to BT Murrayfield. This is our first in-person conference since lockdown, so it's been a hugely positive day.
"This event has provided coaches and match officials with an excellent opportunity to develop knowledge in their discipline, hearing from two keynote speakers and 12 presenters who shared knowledge relating to their specialisms. I have no doubt that every person who attended will have taken away lots of great learnings to apply to their work next season.
"It's great to see coaches and match officials teams reunited again, and able to learn from one-another. The fact that we have hosted a record number of attendees is a testament to depth and breadth of volunteers across our game who are committed to developing their skill-set and collaborating with others.”
Reflecting on the event, Chris Martin, coach from Edinburgh Academy said: “It’s been brilliant to be back together with people from the rugby world, seeing each other face-to-face instead of from a screen, and learning from a range of fantastic guest speakers.
“I think as coaches we have a responsibility to develop, no matter what level of the game we support, so coming to the Game Development Conference allows us to learn from different people and environments.”
Chelsea Gillespie, match official from the Borders Rugby Referee Society added: “What a fantastic day we have all had. I really enjoyed the sessions today on refereeing, it’s given me lots to think about for next season for how I can develop and facilitate good games of rugby.
“It’s been lovely to network with referees from the other societies too, making connections is really important and the conference has allowed us to do that.”
Although the conference was free of change, delegates were invited to make a donation to support two of Scottish Rugby’s charity partners, My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and Murrayfield Injured Players Foundation. In total £1,136 was raised for the two charities from the event.
All the sessions from the conference will shortly be available to view on the Scottish Rugby online training hub, powered by Hive Learning.
Over 5,200 coaches and match officials from across Scotland currently access interactive resources from the online training hub. For more information, please visit http://scottishrugby.org/training-hub