A Rhino has been charged with continuing Worksop College’s fine tradition of sporting excellence.
Chris Plume, who spent a decade coaching with Rugby Super League outfit, is the sports performance director at the 127-year-old school.
In the post for just 10 weeks, Plume says he’s adapting to life in the education industry but he’s excited by the potential to develop individuals who excel in sport and increase sporting participation amongst the student body.
Explaining why he swapped life in professional sport for the halls and playing fields at Worksop College, he said: “I was at Leeds Rhinos for 10 years, the last six years I was assistant coach.
“We had a really successful period while I was there, several trophies.
“This is a change of scenery for me.
“Elite sport can get on top of you, you get some great highs but some really low lows as well, it’s a rollercoaster year on year.
“I did it for six years, which is quite a long time at that level and started to think about what else I could do with the experiences I’ve gained.
“I’ve worked with younger rugby players throughout that team and thought I could transfer my schools into a school environment, working with budding sportsmen and women.”
Although Plume’s experience as a player and a coach came in one sport, he’s now got to become an all-rounder, overseeing all of the sporting endeavours at the college.
“My remit is across all sport, focusing on elite performance all the way down to participation numbers as well,” he said.
“I will have some input in rugby but the experiences and my knowledge probably transcend all sports, professionalism, desire to improve and creating an environment that promotes success.
“That was something that was really strong at Leeds and is something I want to create at Worksop College.”
Plume believes that investing in students on a one-on-one basis will bring team success for the college and produce talented performers to follow in the footsteps of the likes of England cricket internationals Samit Patel and Joe Root.
“For me it’s about the individual, what they leave the school with,” he said.
“The ideal is we have someone who comes to us, takes up sport and then improve and we squeeze as much out of that individual, with their own input.
“That’s what I’m really focused on, how can we get the most out of each kid.
“There’s coaching to get a win at the weekend or in a race, but then there’s a long-term vision, making sure every member within teams are as good as they can be.
“Then your team stands a good chance of winning.”
To do his job successfully Plume will have to work with staff across the school and he’s delighted with his early experience of his new ‘team-mates.’
They’re key to helping Worksop College triumph in the sporting arena.
“It’s completely new to me, the staff have been great and there’s a lot of things already going on at Worksop College.
“We’ve got coaches throughout the school, most of them teachers that help out, but at the top end with the first team we’ve got two really experienced coaches.
“They’ve done a really good job with our first team, winning 10 of our first 11 games.
“I want to thank all the staff who work really hard, a lot of them give up their own time and that work ethic passes down to the kids and that’s one of the reasons why we do so well.
“We punch above our weight for a school of our size, we do really well to churn out as many teams as we do.”