Garin Jenkins says he will aiming to help the young talent coming through the ranks at the Ospreys to 'create a collective passion' as he takes up a new role with the region.
The Swansea and Wales legend, who has played an active part in the development of young talent at the Ospreys in a variety of roles since the inception of the region in 2003, has been appointed as Elite Youth Development Officer ahead of the new season, a role which he says will allow him to 'create solid foundations for the region'.
The new role will see the 58 times capped ex-hooker coordinating with the various organisations and clubs involved with youth rugby across the region, looking to identify young players that may have previously been overlooked by the system. Any players identified by Garin as having the potential to develop into an Osprey will then be placed into an under-20 programme that he will personally oversee, with the support systems in place to hopefully allow these players to flourish.
As part of his ongoing role, he will also observe what is being done by the senior coaches at the Ospreys and then work will closely with the Academy and local colleges (Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and
Pencoed) to pass on the information garnered from Scott Johnson and his coaching team to ensure that key coaching messages are passed on throughout the region, helping to keep coaches and young players up to speed with changes at the top end of the game and helping to create a consistency in operations throughout the Ospreys set-up. In addition, he will continue to provide skills coaching on an individual basis to players within the Academy.
Speaking about his new role, Garin said: "I've been with the Ospreys since the very beginning, as the very first Academy Director, a Development Officer and recently as Under 21 and Under 20 Head Coach, so my roles have been diverse and I've already being doing a lot of things that the new role entails. What this position gives me is a clarity of role, it's more defined, and will enable me to create solid foundations for the region and help to provide long term sustainability for the Ospreys."
Whilst agreeing with the idea that his instinctive ability to connect with others and to develop strong relationships will certainly help him in the role, Garin is quick to point out that he brings a lot more to the post:
"Yes, I agree when people describe me as a 'people person', but I feel that I have a lot more than just that to offer. I have a vast rugby knowledge that I'm keen to pass on having played at the very top level of the game, having been part of the Ospreys since day one and being involved in rugby in this region for the past 17 years. I've got a lot of experience to call on and I want to make the most of what I've been fortunate enough to learn about the game.
"I'd say that the quality that makes me most suitable for this position is my ability in getting youngsters to believe in themselves and making the most of the ability that they've been blessed with.
With the clarity of this new role, I can see it being a very fulfilling one for me personally and I'm looking forward to helping make the Ospreys a strong, sustainable region. I'm very thankful to the management who have given me great opportunities, flexibility and their backing over the past few years. I will certainly bringing my passion to the job, and hopefully, I will be able to create a collective passion in the people that I will be dealing with as I think that's one ingredient that is very important. Sometimes, individuals may lose their focus it's only natural, but what is key for me, is that I have to feel a passion for what I'm doing and I hope to instil that in people I work with.
"Experience tells me that things I have felt a passion for, I have always made a good fist of, and that is a message I will be trying to get across in my work. Whether you are a plumber, a bricklayer, an undertaker or a rugby player, if you are not happy or do not enjoy what you do then you won't achieve your full potential and won't be as good at it as you could be. If I can unlock that passion in the young Ospreys, then I can, hopefully, help them achieve their potential."
Speaking about the appointment, Andrew Hore, Elite Performance Director said: "Garin is a real Ospreylian legend, and we are extremely pleased that he will be utilising his infectious enthusiasm and considerable rugby knowledge and ability to help make the Ospreys a stronger, more sustainable organisation through his new role. He has been part of the regional set-up since our inception in 2003, and he has a real passion for the development of local young talent and a desire to ensure that the Ospreys remain at the forefront of player and coaching development that will, I'm sure, have a very positive influence on the individuals he deals with in this new position."
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