Tuesday, 17 January 2017

A special Friday afternoon with Sam Verralls from Wasps Rugby

Written by Paige of 7CLA, Year 7 Student Reporter

On Friday 13th January, Whitley Academy’s Year 7 Student Reporters (along with Mrs Nguyen) found themselves fortunate enough to receive a visit from Sam Verralls - Community Development Officer at Wasps Rugby, based in Coventry. 

His role is to oversee work with schools, Wasps touch rugby scheme, and lead on their Coach Class programme. He also does work on social media, and on match days.

Sam was very open-minded and shared with us many stories about his life and his work. We learned that when he was 14-15 years old he enjoyed English Language and liked to write about sports, especially rugby.

Sam assisted in developing a rugby blog site. It now reaches up to potentially 2.5 million people a week. During that time, he got the opportunity to interview a couple of famous rugby players and referees. As a result of his blogging, he was invited (alongside a variety of the best bloggers in rugby) to work on the first ever rugby coverage on BT Sport, which was Leicester against Worcester. 

When we asked Sam what he would do if he were to do anything again, he replied that he would like to go back and play more rugby. He would want to play as a number eight, because he likes to have the freedom to roam around the pitch. We also found out that his favourite Wasps player is Nathan Hughes, but his favourite rugby player of all time is Jonny Wilkinson. One of his favourite football players is David Beckham.

We were quite surprised to know that Sam, on a normal day, works 9:00am-5:00pm and can work six days a week.

Near the end of the interview the Student Reporter team started to ask some personal questions.

It was really fascinating to learn that: 
  • Sam’s favourite food is macaroni cheese bites.
  • His favourite school subject was Physics.
  • His memorable trip in his teenage years was the trip to San Francisco – the Golden Gate Bridge and Hollywood – the Walk of Fame. 
  • He prefers a Ferrari to a Lamborghini.
Some unforgettable memories from Sam include:

  • When he was younger, he tackled a player from the opposite team so forcefully that he did not only make them unconscious, but made himself unconscious.
  • During his childhood his trousers split in front of 2000 people. 
  • Additionally, if he started a sport, it would be a mixture of American football and rugby, it would be called “Uberball”.
After the interview, Sam agreed to take some pictures, so Mrs Nguyen took our photos with the man who inspired us all. One hour went by in the blink of an eye.

The Student Reporters could not wish for a better interview.