The Saracens rugby squad paid tribute to former Richmond School deputy head Dave Clark by training young players on the pitch named in his honour.
The London-based rugby union team were in the region for a series of pre-season training and team building events and took the opportunity to train on Richmond School’s new 3G pitch at the Dave Clark Arena.
Ahead of their training session, the players coached 35 students from the local schools and Richmondshire and Wensleydale rugby clubs.
Among the visiting party was Dave Clark’s son Calum Clark, former player and now wellbeing and personal development manager for the Saracens.
Thirty three Saracens visited the school, including seven England players and eighteen international players.
The students were privileged to be mentored by England squad members Billy Vunipola, Ben Earl, Alex Goode, Max Malins and Alex Lozowski.
Headteacher Jenna Potter said: “We are thrilled to host the Saracens and can’t thank the players enough for giving students from the area such an incredible opportunity.
“A former PE teacher, Dave loved all sport, but rugby was his passion and he would have been overjoyed to know that Calum and his teammates had played at Richmond School and given so much encouragement to so many young people.
“I cannot think of a more fitting tribute to him.”
Sixth dorm students, Ellen Atkinson and Charlotte Watson, who are studying Ctec Sport, were inspired to hear about Calum Clark’s career in sport.
He joined the Saracens in 2017 and after 57 appearances has recently retired, moving from professional sportsman to furthering the club’s personal development and psychology provision.
Having completed post-graduate study in Psychology, Calum’s new role is supporting players in various areas such as preparing for a career post-rugby and the mental and emotional aspects of professional sport.
Calum said: “It is wonderful to be able to honour my dad in a place that was so close to his heart for so many years.
“It is also great to hear about the importance and value that Richmond School and Sixth Form College place on sport across all year groups, encouraging students to become active.
“More than ever, keeping fit and enjoying sport has proven to be incredibly valuable and has demonstrated how much it can improve our mental and emotional health, whether playing for fun or at a professional level.”
Warrick Lang, rugby manager at Saracens, said: “We have heard so much about Dave and can fully understand why he was known to so many as the ‘great man’.
“It has been an enormous honour for us to pay our respects to Dave and to support Calum and his family.
“We have been so impressed with the Dave Clark Arena, it is a fantastic facility to foster the benefits of sport and promote fitness and teamwork and an amazing legacy to Dave.”