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Sam Homewood scores as a rugby coach for Sporting Schools

Haileybury Girls Training

Image: Haileybury Girls training with coach Samantha Homewood (pictured back row fourth from left).

Spending her days outside, coaching and having fun with kids of all ages are just a few of the reasons why Samantha (Sam) Homewood loves being a coach.

“As a student, growing up in the country, whenever there was a sport on offer I would sign up. I have played just about every single sport, from badminton to rugby. Through sport I have created so many friendships and connections to people that have led me to where I am now,” Sam said.

“This is why I wanted to be a coach; I can see the benefits that sport plays in people’s lives. I am passionate about providing a platform for young people to develop skills in their chosen sports.”

Sam has been part of the Sporting Schools program since early 2016 as a coach for the Rugby Union ‘Game On’ program.

“Getting new sports into schools through the use of Sporting Schools funding is an amazing opportunity for not only the school, but also the students and staff.

“Having the chance to try a new sport that you may never otherwise do outside school is the best thing. Mixing up your sport offerings gives kids the chance to excel in a less traditional sports that may better suit them. Everyone is different, so why always offer the same sports every year,” Sam said.

Currently, Sam is a Female Development Officer with Victoria Rugby Union, where she coaches Rugby 7s and VIVA7s (non-contact) Rugby 7s.

“Rugby union isn’t as well known here in Victoria, so inspiring children and teenagers to try something new is really exciting, and the response is always fantastic,” Sam said.

“Our Game On rugby union program promotes inclusiveness which has been our biggest and best piece of feedback from schools,” she said.

“They love that students who never usually get involved in sport are wanting to give it a go. The great thing about rugby union is that you can be any size, age, gender and still excel and have fun.”

Sam also has a coaching background in Netball and Australian Rules and has completed a Bachelor of Sports Development at Deakin University.

“To me, what makes a great coach, is the ability to understand the players which allows me to provide coaching that appeals to all learning styles. A coach is not simply a coach for the game, they’re a mentor, family figure, teacher and someone that makes players feel connected to something bigger,” she said.

“For me, the biggest reward is seeing students stepping out of their comfort zones and trying things that they think they can’t do, only to figure out that they can do it when they have a go.”

Sporting Schools is a $160 million Australian Government initiative to get more children playing more sport, before, during and after school. Want to run a Game On rugby union program at your school? Check out all the details on the Australian Rugby Union page.