Ben Lee- Community Rugby Manager
Ben Lee is currently heading up London Irish’s extensive community and corporate social responsibility programmes delivering to over 20,000 young people from local rugby clubs, schools and inclusion centres.
Before joining London Irish Ben studied Sport Coaching Science BSc at university and was working for Premiership club rivals Harlequins. He has played rugby for a number of rugby clubs including National 3 sides Amersham and Ampthill and represented both county and regional sides.
Ben has spear-headed London Irish’s international projects - developing rugby with programmes in Uganda, Zambia, Boston and British Forces bases including Cyprus. He has also supported projects in New York and Brazil.
Ben regularly delivers guest lectures at both the University of Portsmouth and Buckinghamshire University to students studying Sports Management BA (hons) and Sports Development and Coaching Science BSc (hons). He is also enjoying the role of Head Coach at an amateur senior team currently playing at level 7.
Ben has supported many clubs through funding applications, development plans and volunteer management schemes. This also includes working closely with the London Irish Amateur team on a development plan for a new training facility which includes a funding application to Sport England.
Ben hosts several development sessions each season which focus on key areas of running a successful amateur rugby club, this includes but not limited to; volunteer management, recruitment and retention of player, festival and event organisation, and session planning
Ben’s roles within London Irish include;
• Developing and maintaining commercial partnerships
• The Marketing and Communications of all activities and programmes
• Ensuring the effective development of rugby in the community
• Effectively managing the coaching workforce of full time, part time and volunteers
• Managing the department budgets, management accounts and funding streams
• Operations management of stadium activities, festivals and rugby camps
Mike Crump- Community Rugby Coach
Mike joined London Irish in August 2011 as a community coach. Mike is responsible for the delivery of coaching sessions to Independent Schools, rugby camps, master classes, coaching clinics and the delivery to community schemes running at London Irish. Mike will also be responsible for delivering coaching support to partner clubs in Berkshire and Hampshire.
Mike is working with our junior academies and providing kicking coaching for ASSE players and first team academy kickers. Mike is currently working with kickers in the England youth set up.
Before joining London Irish, Mike was the Community Development Officer for Championship club Cornish Pirates. Mike ran the community coaching schemes down in Cornwall and worked with County and Regional sides in the South West.
Mike played for Exeter Chiefs before joining the South West England Rugby Academy at Ivybridge College in Devon and furthered his playing career before taking the coaching role at Pirates. Mike is a well known kicking coach who is an RFU Level 2 Coach, ELRA referee and British Weight Lifting Association Qualified Instructor as well as having all Premiership Rugby minimum standard qualifications. Mike is now working towards his Level 3 RFU Coaching Certification to build on the skills he attained from playing and coaching at a high level.
Jake Cottrell- Community Rugby Coach
Jake joined the community setup in February 2012, Jake Shares the responsibility for delivery of coaching sessions to Tag Schools, Independent Schools and Rugby Camps as well as other London Irish community schemes.
Before joining London Irish Jake worked as a community coach for Harlequins, Jake helped to deliver a number of programmes such as the Aviva, MBNA Tackling Numbers and Here Come the Girls programmes, alongside helping organise and run tournaments, rugby camps and coaching days in clubs.
Jake Has played Rugby Union and Rugby League for a number of years, gaining a place in the England Lion Hearts u18’s and England Students Rugby League, and a place in the Rugby Union London and south east u20’s. Jake Studied coaching at St Mary's University where he also played 1st team rugby and before that Jake was in the Harlequins Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence, whilst attending Richmond college.
Jake Currently plays scrum-Half at London Scottish. Jake is delighted to have joined London Irish to build his career in Rugby Coaching.
Dave Christie- Hitz Project Officer
Dave joined London Irish in April 2012 as Hitz Officer. Dave duties include developing, in conjunction with the Project manager, a suitable social inclusion rugby programme for three London Boroughs.
To organize, set up, lead and coordinate rugby sessions at identified venues, coordinating competitions and other events as appropriate. All activities should be appropriate to the needs of the target audience and be line with the Hitz strategic aims whilst identifying and directing young people onto relevant training and volunteering opportunities.
Dave joins us with a wealth of coaching experience, he was the head rugby coach for the Hertfordshire School Sports Partnership helping to secure rugby as a main sport in all secondary schools. He also brings with him a great understanding of the youth set up through his time a youth worker with youth connexions. As well as coaching Dave also worked as youth development officer for his home club Watford RFC, working in conjunction with the club to raise the profile, coaching and numbers within the youth section. He is also currently head coach of the ladies side in Hampstead and has just secured them promotion to South East National 2.
When asked, Dave said “To be able to use our profile at London Irish to help engage, educate and support as many young people as possible can only be a good thing. The young people the project targets are at risk of exclusion and anti social behaviour. We look to bring them into a safe envirioment and introduce them to tag, touch and contact rugby. Rugby as we know has a strong ethos of teamwork, support and respect which we put across in all our sessions, if these traits are taken on board by the young people on the project it could have a real positive impact on their lives going forward. I hope to really raise the profile of Hitz with Lambeth, Southwark and Croyden so as to engage with as many young people as possible ”
Show your "Exile-Style" and wear it with pride!