Jay with the Hull FC staff.
Popular Bristolian Jay Woodley has won the race to secure the much desired role of full time All Golds’ Schools’ and Community Clubs’ Development Officer. He beat an impressive field of candidates in so doing.
Jay will be based at the excellent Churchdown school in Gloucester where he has been made to feel very welcome. His affection for the 13 aside code undoubtedly influenced the selection panel when he declared:
“I have fallen in love with the sport and aim to create communities whereby Rugby League is at the heart.”
Photo courtesy of Lewis Mitchell Photography
The appointment is far reaching and inclusive and will be very much with a view to supporting the Cheltenham Phoenix club too. Indeed it is this approach that has ensured the approval of the sport’s governing body, the Rugby Football League, as highlighted by Director of Participation and Development Marc Lovering:
“We are delighted to see the All Golds continue to invest in Rugby League in Cheltenham, Gloucester and the surrounding areas.The appointment of Jay Woodley will be significant in continuing to develop the game and we will be working closely with Jay and the wider All Golds’ team to give more players both male and female the opportunity to play rugby league. The All Golds have been instrumental in delivering rugby league, particularly in the school setting and through England Talent Pathway Development Days and this is something we will continue to support and build upon.”
Jay has been a popular member of the All Golds’ coaching panel and played a significant part in the “Golden Fern’s” double title winning season of 2018. His route into the sport is one that all involved will expect to be a blueprint for further recruitment:
“I played Rugby Union from around the age of 10 until I went to college where I discovered the Bristol Academy for Rugby League, which is where I fell in love with the sport. I was exposed to great coaching through Tom James and Dan Garbutt which then allowed me to continue my interest in playing the game and then coaching it through university and having a placement with Tom to start coaching the sport more formally. I then progressed to the All Golds and so further my coaching to a higher standard of Rugby League.”
The club has worked diligently over the last year to return the sport to the county’s schools’ sporting calendar and the return of the 1908 Cup for boys and the Golden Fern Cup for girls has been well received. All of which is underpinned by the successful Primary Schools’ Festival. All Golds’ director Martin Lovegrove sums the view up thus:
We are excited by the possibilities that this position will create to grow the game of rugby league within this region. We are delighted to have such a fine young coach as Jay, who is from the local area, on board.”