The England Men’s Rugby League Team made full use of the Outdoor Leadership Centre during their training camp at St. George’s Park ahead of the test series with New Zealand; which England went on to win. The centre gave the team the opportunity to take part in some team building challenges as they prepared themselves for their first warm-up match against France – which they won 84-4.
The full squad arrived after breakfast on a chilly Friday morning; on the final day of their first camp. The players took part in a selection of our most popular activities here including: Crate Stack Challenge, Mohawk Walk Water Challenge and the Climbing Wall; with everyone eager to take part.
Firstly, the group attempted to break the seemingly imperious crate stack challenge record of 28 levels, but they couldn’t quite manage to do so; managing 23 levels and 7th spot on our all-time leaderboard.
When it came to tackling our 40ft climbing tower, the team had two choices: one wall with a slight incline and larger hand holds or the other which is fully vertical and has small hand holds. Given the group’s competitive spirit, it came as no surprise to see they all wanted to take on the more challenging of the two; even if there were a few nervous glances and wobbly legs when looking up at the climb ahead!
Our instructors were really pleased to see the team embrace our challenge by choice approach and encourage one another to complete the task, with some players really pushing the boundaries of their comfort zone.
The Mohawk Walk Water Challenge took place on one of our low ropes courses, with the requirement to successfully transfer a large bucket of water around the course without spilling any, with only smaller buckets available as a transport mechanism. This challenge is definitely not as easy as it sounds when you are traversing a wire below you and using your team mates’ initiative to keep you upright!
All the players enjoyed this unique opportunity during their time with us and they were supported by their entire coaching team, including manager Steve McNamara. "The core of our group has been together for a long time as a squad so they are fairly close knit. But we’ve added some fresh faces this year from our junior programme who are new to the group so I think it was important in the first few days of this camp to bond the group together a bit” commented McNamara.
"They need to be comfortable around each other and feel connected to help build that trust on the pitch, so I think the (Outdoor Leadership) centre and the exercises we were able to do, were a great addition to the things we were doing in our first couple of days training so it’s certainly something I would look to do again.”