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England U20 New Head Coach

Strode’s College Sports Teacher Lou Meadows has been appointed head coach of the England Counties U20 squad. Meadows is the first ever female head coach of an England men’s aspirational side, which she will lead during their tour of Georgia in May in preparation for the World Rugby U20 Championship in Italy this summer.

England Counties is the flagship team of the community game in England and offers players from National League 1 and below the opportunity to represent their country. Meadows is currently busy attending county games across the country as the four divisions (London and South East, Midlands, North and South West) hold final trials. From these they will bring their best players to the England Counties Trial weekend in Derby, where Meadows will select her final 23 for the tour.

When not coaching with England’s most talented U20s, Meadows is part of Strode’s College’s renowned Sports department which has a strong history of sporting success. Commenting on how her England coaching experience will benefit Strode’s students she said: “Being appointed Head Coach is a fantastic opportunity for me and recognition of my hard work for the last 12 years in coaching within the men’s game and gaining my level 4 qualification. I really hope it’s a step forward for the game in recognising coaches for their coaching abilities rather than as a former professional player or their gender and a realisation to the students of what they could achieve themselves.

“Strode’s have been brilliant in supporting me in my own development, whereby now I am able to use my qualification and experience to further benefit the sports students. Whether they are looking at further education, coaching qualifications or professional playing careers, I would hope that they utilise me for advice, support or even contacts in progressing in their careers.”

For the England U20 squad Meadows heads up a team which includes her assistant coach, a forwards coach, team manager, assistant manager, physio and a team doctor. She proudly acknowledges how this new role will hopefully represent to both her male and female students the opportunities within professional coaching. Equally important is also highlighting the work ethic and time management needed to successfully carry out a role of high responsibility in parallel to a busy teaching career.

Alongside having an England head coach on the teaching team, Strode’s elite student athletes also get high level support from the College. The recent accreditation from TASS (Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme) recognised the College’s commitment to supporting students reach their potential in education alongside sporting success.

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