When you think of Touch, you should think of Dennis Coffey. Dennis literally co-wrote the rule book way back when and has been involved in the game for over 30 years. He developed many of the manuals and coaching resources and was Australia’s first Touch Coaching Director.
For the last few years he has been involved with FIT and has been travelling around the world promoting the sport. I was lucky enough to meet Dennis at an event I organised at Parc y Scarlets for Sports Development professionals with WTA in May 2011. Dennis told us about how the game started and developed in Australia and the potential for development here in Wales. Carmarthenshire has already done a lot of work, particularly with girl’s Touch and that looks set to continue with Dennis helping to identify what could be done to develop the game further.
I then attended the Level 1 Touch coaching course in summer 2011 and you could not have a more knowledgable and experienced tutor for a Touch coaching course in Dennis! It was a pleasure to work with him and I look forward to the Level 2 course in 2012!
It’s an exciting time for Touch in Wales with WTA and the WRU coming together to put Touch right at the forefront of not just junior rugby, but also at adult level with the news that 14 Participation Officers have just been appointed across Wales. A strong focus for these officers will be Touch and the setting up of leagues and competitions for juniors and adults. I think we’re going to see an astronomical rise in the number of registered players, which currently sits at less than 3000! It’s quite amazing that Wales have previously competed so well in World Cups and Euros with such a small player base, so the future looks very good indeed!
Here’s a short clip of Dennis talking about his involvement in Touch and another video of Dennis speaking at the opening of TWC2011 during a highlights video from TWC2011 hosted by Scotland in June.