Editor Emily Turner meets a sporting hero behind an innovative travel company.
Will Greenwood, World Cup winning rugby god, coach and father of a young brood, is the direct, no nonsense, look-you-straight-in-the-eye person you would expect. His parents were teachers and, having got to the very top of his game, you can see that the desire to help others learn and improve runs deep. “Being around people carrying a ball, helping them get better” is his idea of fun, “and if you can do that with the sun on your back – then that is absolutely fabulous!”
Five years ago Will and fellow rugby superstar Austin Healey were invited out to the luxurious Forte Village resort in Sardinia to run a kids’ rugby coaching session. They had six children between them. Now they run a summer programme for six weeks, taking kids from 5–14 in rugby and have introduced netball for girls (though the 5–7 year olds can play rugby too).
The formula is simple. They run training sessions in the morning during which the ‘Legends’ are supported by accredited coaches. It is about improving your game but also about developing life skills and a passion for sport through having fun – hundreds of touches of the ball for all. Little ones are understanding the shape of the ball without even realising they are learning; older kids are keen to ‘skill up’, work hard and improve.
Parents are encouraged to be involved too. The dads have been warned off the mums’ netball sessions but, if you fancy trying out your skills against a giant of the game, these are not the sort of coaches who will be signing off the moment training finishes at 11.30am. Healthy, outdoor fun in a stunningly lovely setting, a Legend holiday is an experience for all. In Will’s words: “I like to think I am an honest man but I absolutely guarantee you will have the best family holiday of your life with the kids. #fact.”