Argentina coach passes on his knowledge to Easton and Otley College students

Jonny O Brien (left) with students from the Easton and Otley College rugby academy and Keir Wenham F

Jonny O Brien (left) with students from the Easton and Otley College rugby academy and Keir Wenham Flatt (centre). - Credit: Submitted

Meeting Maradona, a discussion on working with elite athletes and the Rugby World Cup were just some of the topics being discussed at a Norfolk college this week.

Students from the rugby academy at Easton and Otley College were given an intriguing insight into top level sport thanks to a visit from Keir Wenham-Flatt – who was the strength and conditioning coach of the Argentina rugby team at the World Cup.

The Englishman came along to the college's Easton campus, west of Norwich, to speak about his journey to the top of his profession.

The event was organised by Jonny O'Brien, an employability coach at the college and head coach of Norwich RFC – where the coach also led a training session on Tuesday.

'Keir was kind enough to come and speak to our students about strength and conditioning,' O'Brien said.

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'All the students involved were keen on finding out more about this subject. It's good for their development as the discussion was very open and honest.

'It's great that they were able to get some top tips from someone working in International sport right now.'

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During the event, Wenham-Flatt explained his route to the top. The former Leeds University graduate promoted the importance of gaining experience and networking and talked about experiences in Australia, China and with London Wasps.

He also talked about what it was like to have a front row seat with Argentina during the World Cup – where Argentina made it to the bronze final, where they were beaten by South Africa.

'Being able to serve the athletes and help them fulfil their potential and do so well and see them get the respect that they deserve was an amazing experience,' he said. 'In the past pundits thought that Argentina were lucky. Now – after that World Cup – we are being taken seriously.

'From my point of view, to see the preparation and work come to fruition and to be somewhere like Wembley in front of 90,000 people – to take in that atmosphere of a World Cup quarter-final and the Millennium stadium in a semi-final – was an unreal experience.

'I would have loved to have been a player – obviously that didn't happen – so that is as close as I'm ever going to get. It was a dream fulfilled – and meeting Maradona in the changing room was pretty good.'

In terms of the talk at Easton and Otley, he added, 'It was awesome and the students were a great group, I hope I haven't put some of them off!

But the reality of strength coaching and the reality of sport in general is that it's tough at the top.'

College spokesman, John Nice, said: 'We would like to thank Keir for giving up his time to come and talk to our students. It was great for them to get to peak through the curtains and find out what sport at the very highest level is all about.'

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