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Saracens coach Richmond students in memory of Dave Clark

ByDave Stopher

Aug 25, 2021

The Saracens rugby squad paid tribute to a dearly-loved and greatly-missed Deputy Headteacher by coaching students from Richmondshire on the Dave Clark Arena at Richmond School & Sixth Form College, named in his honour. Calum Clark, Wellbeing and Personal Development Manager for the Saracens, and a former club player, was proud to play alongside his teammates on the new 3G pitch in memory of his Dad.

With just a month until their first 2021-2022 premiership game in September, the London-based rugby union team were in the north for a series of pre-season training and team building events and were delighted to have the opportunity to play on Richmond School’s new 3G pitch.

Ahead of their training session the players coached 35 students from the local schools and Richmondshire Rugby Club with a focus on teambuilding and encouraging the students to enjoy the game of rugby.

Thirty-three Saracens visited the school, including seven England players and eighteen international players. The students were privileged to be mentored by England squad members Billy Vunipola, Ben Earl, Alex Goode, Max Malins and Alex Lozowski.

Jenna Potter, Headteacher, said: “We are thrilled to host the Saracens and can’t thank the players enough for giving students from the area such an incredible opportunity. A former PE teacher, Dave loved all sport, but rugby was his passion and he would have been overjoyed to know that Calum and his teammates had played at Richmond School and given so much encouragement to so many young people. I cannot think of a more fitting tribute to him.”

Sixth Form students, Ellen Atkinson and Charlotte Watson, who are studying Ctec Sport, were inspired to hear about Calum Clark’s career in sport.  He joined the Saracens in 2017 and after 57 appearances has recently retired, moving from professional sportsman to furthering the club’s personal development and psychology provision. Having completed post-graduate study in Psychology, Calum’s new role is supporting players in various areas such as preparing for a career post-rugby and the mental and emotional aspects of professional sport.

Calum said: “It is wonderful to be able to honour my Dad in a place that was so close to his heart for so many years. It is also great to hear about the importance and value that Richmond School and Sixth Form College place on sport across all year groups, encouraging students to become active. More than ever, keeping fit and enjoying sport has proven to be incredibly valuable and has demonstrated how much it can improve our mental and emotional health, whether playing for fun or at a professional level.”

The Dave Clark Arena offers exceptional sporting opportunities for Richmond’s students and the wider community alike and has rapidly become the hub for sport in the area. Bursting with activity, the 3G pitch hosts partner clubs Richmond Town FC, Catterick Village Junior FC and Richmond Mavericks FC.

The facility was made possible through the generous backing of various organisations who contributed funding, including the Football Foundation, Areté Learning Trust, Richmond School Trustees, Sport England, Richmond Town Football Club and Richmondshire District Council. The pitch was designed and constructed by McArdle Sport Tec, with the artificial 3G turf surface manufactured by Tiger Turf. The tremendous floodlit lighting scheme was designed and installed by Halliday Lighting. You can enjoy a video showcasing the Dave Clark Arena athttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OlhCDChXH0. To enquire about booking the 3G pitch or other community sports facilities at Richmond School visit https://richmondschool.schoolbookings.co.uk/

Warrick Lang, Rugby Manager at Saracens, concluded: “We have heard so much about Dave and can fully understand why he was known to so many as the ‘Great Man’. It has been an enormous honour for us to pay our respects to Dave and to support Calum and his family. We have been so impressed with the Dave Clark Arena, it is a fantastic facility to foster the benefits of sport and promote fitness and teamwork and an amazing legacy to Dave.”