Tuesday 12 August 2014 Written by: Adam

The Falcons Community Foundation are celebrating the completion of their most successful residential camp to date after the sixth annual Barnard Castle residential coaching camp.

For many participants though, the highlight of the week was a visit from England head coach Stuart Lancaster, who presented end of camp awards to those voted as most deserving of the Spirit of Rugby and Rising Star awards by camp coaches.

Taking a break from his duties coaching the England national side, Lancaster presented the Falcons Spirit of Rugby award to Lewis Kincart and the Rising Star award to Joseph Pickering.

Lewis was presented with his award for the best attitude to camp. Falcons Community Coach Gavin Beasley explained: “Lewis received the award for his dedication to training; he was the first out for warm up and the last in from cool down, always giving 100% and sticking in consistently throughout the week.”

Meanwhile Joseph received his award for great consistent rugby performance throughout the week. Beasley commented: “Joseph was given this award for consistently getting involved, listening to coaches and putting drills into practice really well. Joseph was always in the middle of things and showed great leadership not only within his own team but in the wider age groups too.”

Falcons Community Director Melanie Magee said: “For the community team, the Barnard Castle coaching camp is one of the highlights of our programme, and this year was no exception. But to have someone like Stuart Lancaster come along to present our end of camp awards and help recognise the rugby stars of the future was particularly special.”

Kate Ryan, whose son James returned from Belgium this year to attend his second Barnard Castle camp said: “The Community Foundation camps really do provide an excellent opportunity for the boys, it gives them a huge boost to meet and be coached by rugby men that they have only read about or seen on television; it’s a great combination!

“My boys had a great time; the photo with Stuart Lancaster is already up at the club – what a great surprise it was for them to meet him! And top tips from Sir Ian McGeechan, I remember watching him play for Scotland when I was just a lass!”

Sold out with over two months to go, the week-long camp saw over 175 youngsters enjoying over seven hours of coaching each day courtesy of coaches from both Newcastle Falcons and Leeds Carnegie followed by a range of evening activities.

Alongside this, participants enjoyed visits, guidance and training sessions from Falcons and Leeds Academy coaches and Falcons first team players throughout the week, with Leeds legends Sir Ian McGeechan and John Bentley also joining them to host a talk about what it takes to make it in professional rugby.

Next summer’s residential coaching camp will be launched over the coming weeks to this year’s camp participants, with remaining spaces available to the general public from October onwards. Keep your eyes on the club’s Facebook and Twitter for dates, times and more information.