Audenshaw School PE teacher Chris Rose has announced his departure after 12 years' service.
Chris initially joined in 2007 and has since become a popular figure with teachers, pupils and parents alike, building up a repertoire as fine rugby coach in both codes of the game.
Such has been his commitment to pupils, Chris has devoted hours of his time after school in a variety of sports, including rugby, swimming and cricket.
And in a bid to plant a seed of interest in fitness and health, Chris has delivered workshops and competitions at a cluster of primary schools – even when faced with government cuts in 2010.
Now, the rugby-mad Yorshireman is hoping to use his experience and knowledge for a new challenge at Hill House School in Doncaster.
Having developed a love affair with Audenshaw, Chris said it was a wrench to leave the school but feels the time is right due to mitigating circumstances. Speaking to Reporter Sport, he said: “I’ve loved my time at Audenshaw. I came from Halifax in 2007 and if I reflect now upon what we’ve achieved, as a department, as a rugby staff and as a group of students, the things we’ve achieved are quite incredible. It’s with a heavy heart that I leave on Friday, but with a tremendous collection of memories to take with me.
“It’s all come about really as a combination of circumstance and opportunity.
“Schools are in a very difficult position in the state sector. There’s a national funding crisis, and heads and management are left with very difficult decisions about where to allocate resources, and so it’s hard.
“I wrote to the Rugby Football Union last year about what I consider to be a crisis in the state sector, and what the governing body could do to help schools like Audenshaw. I saw an opportunity in the Rugby Paper at Hill House School in Doncaster, and it will essentially allow me to coach and teach rugby full time. It’s a school that’s very well resourced and want to invest and grow their programme, and that’s something that I’ve done at this school and want to continue there. If we can do anything like we’ve managed at Audenshaw over the years, it will be a real success.”
While Audenshaw is traditionally known for its long success in rugby union, Chris has made it his mission to place a big focus on rugby league.
He has since enjoyed great success in that code of the game, nurturing players like Gene Ormsby, who previously played for the Huddersfield Giants amongst others, as well as current Warrington Wolves products Jack Johnson and Patrick Anglin.
Chris said he’s delighted to have played a role in their development – as players and members of society. “We’ve achieved a great deal in rugby union and rugby league.” He said.
“It’s nice to see professional players running out on a Friday night in the Super League who learnt their game at Audenshaw.
“Jack Johnson is a first team player at Warrington, and prior to that we had Gene Ormsby, while Patrick Anglin is another rising star that’s come through the programme here. It’s very rare for a state comprehensive school to have achieved these things, not only in rugby but across all sports.
“Patrick represented Ireland in rugby league against Scotland on Saturday. He scored three tries, one of which was the winner, and was also voted as the Man of the Match. It was a pretty impressive international debut, and again he was someone who really bought into the model of what we do at Audenshaw and was a great leader and player to have in your team. I’m incredibly proud of Patrick and the lad that he’s become.”
As part of his aims to improve health and wellbeing amongst students, Chris has also established a close connection with Olympic Sports Gym in Ashton. He has worked in conjunction with Shaun, Mark and Steven Clegg to coordinate strength and conditioning sessions for the players. The sessions have played a huge part in the players’ development, and despite his departure, Chris is hoping the players will continue to take advantage of the great facilities on offer. “The boys don’t necessarily realise how lucky they are to have a place like Olympic Gym and people like Steven, Mark and Shaun as trainers. Steven’s as good as I’ve ever met as a conditioner. He has a way with players and relates to them, plus he’s an ex student, and he’s also become a great friend, as have all the Clegg’s.”
Chris has also played a major role in putting Audenshaw on the map for swimming reasons.
Alongside pupil Aidan Tevlin, Chris established a swimming team in 2012 which has since enjoyed great success. Dubbed ‘The Audenshaw Sharks’, the squad has reached the National Finals on two occasions in 2015 and 2017. Chris is proud of the achievements and heaped praise on the students who helped to make a dream a reality. “I had what I like to call my golden generation of swimmer: Alex Campbell, Kian Tevlin, Wunnai Tam, and Jolan Bennett, who were part of my teams that made it to the National Finals on two occasions in 2015 and 2017. One of my happiest moment as an Audenshaw teacher was standing there at the Olympic pool in London, again as one of the only state schools competing, and just being so proud of where they’d come. My other memories are the three teams that made the Lancashire Cup Finals. My 2007/2008 team won 24 of their 26 fixtures. We were back again in 2013/14, which was the Patrick Anglin team, and also again this year with my Under 14s. The outstanding victory would have been winning the Kirkham Sevens in 2010 as the only comprehensive school, still to this day, to win that title.”