Centaurs Experience: Navesh Perumal, Head Coach

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Coach Navesh (JJ) reflects on his years at Centaurs as a parent, and then as Head Coach of the now U9s. Centaurs has benefitted hugely from the Perumal enthusiasm, first in rugby and then in netball. Sadly the family will be leaving us this June, and whichever junior Club in Boston nabs them will be better for it. All the best!

Life brings gifts when you least expect or realise. For us it was 2012, my four year old son Jadon crying on the Turf City Mini Fields. After six months of tears on Saturday mornings, we had decided to call it quits on rugby and “Mum’s” dream of a future Wallaby in the Perumal family was dashed.

Luckily, that wasn’t our last encounter with Centaurs. It seems that we just had to give it time: a year later, we returned, with fewer tears and occasional smiles.

“Get out there and coach! Spend some time with your son!”

Like most parents at Centaurs, I loved the outdoors, enjoyed watching the boys and meeting the parents. Many a Saturday morning was spent on the sidelines, on three hours sleep, seeking out whatever shade and coffee was available. It was short lived: when mum suggested that I get more involved, the “COACH” shirt was on and I made my Mini Fields debut (fewer tears than Jadon). My intro to coaching was directed by some amazing committed and passionate people that I shall never forget.

I learned quickly that teaching rugby was one thing, teaching 5 year olds was another, and teaching your own child is even more challenging.

With 15 kids and and a couple of dads like myself, we were off to flying start. I’ll never forget those first six months: our age group grew from 15 to 60 kids. Each week, 10 to 18 brilliant dads tossed the coffee cup for a mission of understanding the mind of a 5 year old boy, with much patience and tolerance.

18582517_10154341888935806_3939119384364515515_nSix years on and we have maintained between 55 and 74 little rugby players, 60% having been with us from the start. It is my greatest achievement, and one I have enjoyed immensely. The team of parents, kids, dads and coaches have developed a passionate community, a reputation which exemplifies rugby, and a healthy respect from our Singapore clubs and those abroad.

We have nurtured a community from around the globe through rugby and fostered a healthy respect and understanding for each other that I hope will endure in the hearts and minds of our children.

To our coaches over the years I will miss these times immensely and I thank you for your full support and understanding over the years. For our parents, who give up their Saturdays, and weekends for tours, to be there with your kids encouraging, supporting and participating, our team is because of you. To our little men, each and every one that I can picture by face and name, I will remember you all. I hope you remember these times with a smile and pride, for the fun and determination, and friendships. I hope you remember all your coaches and the values they hoped to instil in you through rugby.

I am eternally grateful to Centaurs for the opportunity and support to teach our fine young gentleman over the years, for being able to contribute to the growth of Centaurs and for you welcoming us into the family. Robbo you deserve a special mention, and I’m sure I don’t need to say why. To Tim for his passion and commitment, Mag for her unlimited support, Di for our awesome tours, Nick for his support and patience and all the head coaches and admin for their advice and direction, I thank you deeply.

Thank you.

– Coach Navesh Perumal, 2017

Centaurs U9 2016

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