Special Guest Blog for Jeremy Keefe, ASVP UK&I and Benelux
With the 2015 Rugby World Cup kicking off, and hopes high for the home nations, many junior fans will be dreaming of the day they represent their country’s 15’s. The dedication needed to make it as a professional sports person is learnt at a young age. And it’s not just the youth players who have to put the hours in, it’s their families too.
Oxford Harlequins Minis and Juniors Rugby Club produces national champions at all ages. This is partly a result of the natural talent of the youngsters, but also an indication of the commitment of the coaches, administrators and club officials who give up their time to train the players, organise fixtures and manage the finances of the institution.
The management team of the club is made up of volunteers, parents and ex-players, all of whom have to find the time to meet regularly to discuss everything from match dates to sponsorships, facilities management to training methods. For these busy professionals, it can be hard to find the time. “As you can imagine, it takes a lot of organisation. With forty coaches and ten of us on the committee, getting us all together to talk at any one time is actually quite difficult,” says Jonathan Valentine, Chairman of the Oxford Harlequins youth teams (minis and juniors).
That’s where Polycom comes in. Not only do Polycom UK sponsor the boys’ and girls’ shirts, they make it possible for the management team to come together regularly through the Polycom RealPresence WebSuite video collaboration solution, provided by Imago VaaS-t. The management team can hold regular video meetings without the need for expensive hardware, simply joining the video call via a web link. This means more regular discussions and better results as a team.
“Meeting over video has enabled us to be more efficient and productive, and to get a lot more cross-fertilisation of ideas between the coaches,” says Gavin Allinson, Club Coaching Coordinator. “One of the areas where we are hoping to utilise video conferencing in the future is to bring in some outside coaches with particular expertise to come in and deliver online training sessions for us.”