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Coronavirus Kent: The Burford Academy Lockdown Squad is up and running and free to join

Medway rugby star Rachael Burford is offering her coaching tutorials for free during the coronavirus lockdown and everyone is welcome.

The competitive season is over for Burford, after the RFU declared the Tyrrells Premier 15 season cancelled, but the Harlequins player isn’t taking it easy.

Medway's Rachael Burford playing for EnglandPicture: Paul Donovan
Medway's Rachael Burford playing for EnglandPicture: Paul Donovan

She would normally be delivering her Burford Academy coaching sessions to clubs in person but as she’s unable to do that, she decided instead to deliver daily work-out sessions to people’s homes during the covid-19 crisis.

The ‘Lockdown Squad’ videos are available every day from 9am, with daily drills and skills over the next eight weeks and it’s free to sign up. Her first session was on Monday.

“The response had been ridiculous,” Burford said, after receiving close to 600 applicatons within the first 48 hours of announcing the online camp.

“It’s amazing. It’s good for kids, it’s good for adults, people can use it as much as they want, they can see the programme ahead and all sessions are only between five and 10 minutes, It is a way for players to stay engaged.

“The Burford Academy is usually for girls' rugby but this isn’t exclusive, it’s for anyone, any gender.

“Some of it is serious, some of it is fun, there might be days where you can’t do it, but that doesn’t matter. There is a bit in there for everyone and a bit of everything.

“Hopefully it can help people stay engaged in rugby, be active and it might even encourage people who haven’t tried to sport to pick up a ball.”

Burford is currently in lockdown at her home in Bromley where she is producing videos and training content herself. Some of her England international team-mates have offered to help and there could be special guests along the way.

Additional premium services are also available, including one-to-one sessions and group activities over Zoom.

Burford missed the start of last season through injury and admits she didn’t get as much game-time as she wanted once she returned, with the Christmas period and the Six Nations coming before the coronavirus crisis ended the season early.

Her Harlequins team were sitting second in the league behind Saracens when the season was scrapped, declared by the RFU as null and void.

Burford hopes the new campaign can get underway as expected in the autumn.

“Every year is bigger and more exciting,” she said.

“We are going to have to make sure next season is the best one yet, especially with the World Cup and the Olympics coming up. Hopefully I can hit pre-season running and see where we are at.”

Sign up to the Lockdown Squad here


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