Windsor RFC's link with Eton College will improve quality of training across all sections

Windsor’s head coach Jack Pattinson expects the quality of training to improve across all levels of the club after Eton College's Astroturf pitch was secured for club coaching sessions.

Pattinson said the deal with the school was a ‘massive coup’ for the club and claims all sections, from the men to the Colts and the Dames, will benefit from sessions being held there from this month.

Until now the club has been using a boggy, floodlit patch of Home Park for its mid-week training sessions, something Pattinson admitted was far from ideal.

“There’s been lots going on behind the scenes,” he said. “From a training perspective we’ve managed to secure a new training facility, the Astroturf at Eton College. We’ve managed to get that for the men’s training but it’s also for the Dames and the Colts as well. That’s going to be particularly useful during the months from November to February.

“The quality of experience for training will be so much better than the boggy patch that we train on next to some big lights.

“My long-term vision is to try and create the best experience possible for the players. The reality is that we’re rocking up to training on a Thursday night and there are three big lights turned on and we do sessions in a cramped corner and the surface is often poor and you can’t see that well.

“But we’ve been able to secure a properly floodlit Astroturf, an all-weather pitch to train on when we get started again. It’s a massive coup for the club.”

The club has also connected with local businesses in the area during lockdown. They’ve held weekly yoga sessions with some of those on Zoom and intend to roll that out to other sections of the club in the coming weeks. Windsor have also developed a formal partnership with a mental health charity called Loose Heads.

“This is something the boys have led on,” said Pattinson. “We’ve now got a formal partnership with them and some new kit which will have their charity name on. There’s loads of cool stuff happening, it’s been quite inspiring.”

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