Mr. Slack and Mr. Duroe had the absolute pleasure of taking Bradley Bean from Y8 to the Rugby For All Celebration event on Saturday 10th February and this wasn’t just because we got to see the 6 Nations fixture between England and Wales! It was a result of Bradley exhibiting excellent attitudes and character that meant he was selected for the trip.
Bradley himself will admit that he was nervous when we first arrived. This wasn’t helped by the first thing that an RFU representative said to him: “Are you ready to walk out in front 90,000 people?” Bradley soon relaxed though, when this was corrected to 82,000 people. It was also evident that Bradley’s confidence grew as soon as he put on the kit that had been provided by Canterbury. Unfortunately, due to the Chinese New Year, the rugby shirts that had been designed by schools, which Bradley and the rest of 80 participants at the celebration event were due to wear, are still England bound on a shipping container. However, Bradley certainly did look the part in the substitute hoody and was starting to feel the part.
The day had a jam packed itinerary which included: a Q&A with RFU ambassadors, rehearsal of flag bearing, a talk from an England U18 coach and the Head of Creative Development from Google, and finally flag bearing on the pitch at Twickenham as England and Wales took to the field.
As part of the Q&A with current England rugby players Heather Millar-Mills (50 caps) and Eliis Genge (5 Caps) Bradley met both ambassadors and had a photo taken with them (an opportunity I didn’t pass up either!) After meeting the players, Bradley and the rest of the participants were taken through what they were required to do once they arrived at Twickenham and went onto the pitch. Now fully briefed, Bradley couldn’t wait to take his place on the pitch, which he was happy to tell the journalists that were covering the event during his interview. This comprised part of Bradley’s media duties.
After lunch Bradley heard from England U18 coach, Russel Eanrshaw and Google’s Head of Creative Development, Kirk Ellis. The message from this talk was clear that Clifton are in good company in our way of thinking – ‘take risks’ and ‘learning from mistakes’ is how they approach tasks to ensure resilience and creativity. What is good enough for Google and England Rugby is good enough for Clifton students as they follow the Clifton Way.
The last part of the day was for Bradley to take the pitch and welcome the players at they took to the field at Twickenham. Tom and I were lucky enough to be in the stand just behind where Bradley was taking up his duties on the North try line. When Bradley completed his flag bearing duties he was able to join us in the stand to watch the action. Knowing that he had been nervous, we asked if it was alright. His response ‘That was brilliant! I can’t believe I’ve just been stood there. It was awesome’. The look on his face was priceless and no words will get across the appreciation and excitement Bradley clearly had for what he had just done.
Bradley then took in the game, watching Jonny May cross the whitewash twice, right in front of us, in very difficult conditions. Not only did Bradley watch the game but he was keen to learn and tested mine and Tom’s rugby knowledge to its limits.
No article can fully do justice to what a fantastic day Bradley had and how difficult it would have been to find a better student to represent Clifton. Bradley ticked off pretty much all of the criteria from the Clifton Way during the day, which is not a surprise given how he conducts himself around school.