Nathan Hopewell, the captain of the Amber Valley U14’s team is an inspiration to the peers in his team. He leads by example and puts his body on the line and leads from the front. What has helped this young man get to this point other than the excellent guidance of his parents and rugby.
Alongside his rugby Nathan is also involved with the RAF as member of 1401 squadron who hold similar great values and camaraderie. Nathan recently had the opportunity to combine his two loves and was selected to represent the local wing in a tournament. When he found out that the players were also being assessed and the games were trials for the next round of games it came as a big surprise, however when he stepped onto the pitch it certainly didn’t affect his game. During the day in the 5 matches the team played they didn’t concede a single try and Nathan was in the right place to get over the whitewash himself to help them win the tournament. Even more impressive when you consider that he was one of the youngest players in the team.
He came away from the competition delighted and said “It was great to play, good to score” but, (as he was playing at fullback) he was happier about the fact that the team didn’t concede a single try either.
As a result of his exploits on the day he impressed enough to represent the Central and East Regional team who went on to play against the 5 other regions from across the UK at RAF Cranwell for the Regional championships 2 weeks later. During this final event they went on to beat 2 other regions to get into the final which they drew. As a result of the draw it was decided by the organising committee that there would be joint winners in 2016.
When asked about the whole opportunity he said “it has been a huge step up in the level of rugby being played, I’ve was very excited for the unexpected opportunity this gave me and it has also allowed me take note of what other teams and players do and I’ll be able to bring that back to my coach and hopefully help my club team improve.”
Stuart Artliff his club coach commented that “Nathan always works hard and listens well and it comes no surprise that he has made it through to this stage.”