Article by: Josh Miller

The return to classes following the October break has been greeted a non-stop onslaught of consecutive assessments throughout high school. As a result, students have looked to their extracurricular activities to channel possible stress and anxiety. Second season sports, which include basketball, swimming, tennis, rugby, and touch rugby, are lifting the tired and drained spirits of high school athletes at the end of a long school day. A fresh face on campus helping to guide our dedicated and enthusiastic athletes is that of the new Varsity Boys Rugby coach, Andy Brown.

Coach Brown, who only recently arrived in Manila on the first day of school after the break, hails from the town of Gloucester in England. Quite unique to the common traits of ISM coaches, the Englishman is actually not a full time coach at school, nor does he hold a teaching position;

His main focus here in Manila is therefore almost purely improving and preparing our Boys Rugby team for IASAS at the end of January.

Coach Brown’s rugby experience started at age 12 when he played at a local club before he joined the British Army, where he continued to play from age 16 and beyond. After leaving the Army, he played two seasons for Gloucester Rugby in England. Despite the many successes he enjoyed while playing the sport, he moved to coaching in 1990 when he coached a local under-19 team. In the same year, he was appointed as the England U-19 Touch Rugby coach for the F.I.T. World Cup in New Zealand. Such accolades continued to earn him a number of other significant coaching roles in the years that followed.

During the week that Coach Brown has spent with the varsity squad so far, he has been pleased with the enthusiasm and openness of the players to new ideas. He believes that this positive start to the season “will help the players develop over the course of the season.” Although accustomed to coaching rugby at the 15 or 7-a side levels in the UK, Coach Brown thinks that coaching the 10-a side game here “is no different, as coaching is coaching, no matter the form of the game”.

Looking ahead, Coach Brown eagerly anticipates the challenge the Pre-IASAS exchange that ISM will be hosting from November 20-22 promises to provide. Despite the limited preparation, Brown believes that the team will be ready and that, “It’ll be great for the boys to play with lots of home supporters cheering them on!”

Coach Brown isn’t the only one eagerly anticipating Pre-IASAS Rugby at ISM in just a few weeks. Many teachers, students, and others a part of the ISM community are getting on board with housing and other methods of preparation for the tournament. The ATAC department has been preparing for the tournament and says they are just about ready, and very excited, however are still looking for willing hosts within the ISM community to house the male athletes from the other IASAS schools. Support your bearcats and grab a housing form from the ATAC office or the ATAC blog online today!

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