OG and Wasps professional rugby player Alex Rieder returned to Giggleswick to head up a rugby development day at his old school and spend the evening as guest speaker at the annual Morrison House Dinner.
Alex, a back row forward currently sidelined from the premiership team as he recovers from injury, joined fellow professional, Yorkshire Carnegie hooker Harry Newborn, England RFU rugby development officer for West Yorkshire Andy Fradgley (OG), RFU community rugby coach Carl Paterson and Giggleswick PE teacher Ed Buck (OG) in the training day on Saturday (October 13).
Giggleswick invited youngsters from local clubs North Ribblesdale and Wharfedale as well involving all its school teams from U12s right up to U18s. The young players enjoyed a five-station coaching carousel and worked on the RFU’s five ‘CARDS’ principles: Creativity, Awareness, Resilience, Decision making, Self-organisation.
Giggleswick’s director of sport Dan Cook said: “We were very privileged to be joined by Alex and the rest of the coaches. The Giggleswick pupils, players and coaches from the local clubs had a fantastic time being trained by sportsman from different professional backgrounds. The two professional players concentrated on more intricate skills while the other coaches looked at the game as a whole. It was a very enjoyable day.”
Alex rounded off his day at the school by being guest speaker at his old house, Morrison’s, formal dinner where he acknowledged the important role his school days had played in his life, through the range of opportunities it had provided. Alex left Giggleswick in 2010 to join Yorkshire Carnegie academy which was followed by a spell on loan at National League Wharfedale. He then joined Championship outfit Rotherham before making the move to Wasps in 2015.
Housemaster James Giles said: “Alex was just as effusive about playing hockey and football with his friends at school, recalling the pride it gave them, as he was about rugby. He also advised pupils to embrace the music, drama and CCF opportunities Giggleswick offers to build skills and resilience.
“Alex also delivered an important message about mental health, something close to his heart as he recovers from potentially career ending injuries. He told pupils to make sure they talk to people if they are feeling low: friends, teachers and parents, because they will all be there for them.”