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Bangkok Faces: Cardelle Dunne, PE Teacher & Rugby Ready Coach

Your Name: Cardelle Dunne
Job Title: Rugby Ready Qualified Coach & PE Teacher at  St. Andrews Sathorn International School

What is your nationality and background?

I’m British.

What is your profession?

At the moment, I’m a PE teacher and have spent a brilliant two (going into three) years teaching at St. Andrews International School, which has been an awesome experience so far. I’m also a Rugby Ready Qualified Coach who’s organising a Rugby Ready Clinic (and club) for kids this September. I’m also a former rugby player for Canterbury Ladies in the UK.

What are the key skills and responsibilities of this role?

As a PE teacher, my main role is to deliver high quality PE lessons in both primary and secondary education; however, I mainly teach primary at the moment. My key responsibilities as a rugby coach will be to deliver fun, active lessons in a safe environment. Also, my aim is to develop young athletes in the fundamentals of rugby through tag, and to hopefully generate interest to develop leagues in Bangkok.

How did you get involved in your profession?

I started playing rugby for Canterbury Ladies after moving from London to teach, and wanted to meet new people. I also needed a fresh challenge. I instantly fell in love with the game (not intentionally) and whilst in Thailand, I’ve played in a variety of 7s tournaments and thoroughly enjoyed it. I started to think, there isn’t enough in schools, so I wanted to create something that kids can enjoy and learn from. I only wished I had found rugby at a young age — and I don’t want other kids to think that!

How does your role enhance the wellbeing or experience of children?

I hope to develop children’s personal and social skills through sport. I feel that, through correct child centred coaching, these classes will develop their skills and understanding of the sport along with improving their catching, movement, confidence, teamwork and ability to experience competition in a controlled setting. The club should also offer children an opportunity to meet and interact with other children outside their school setting.

What challenges do your face in this role?

I expect that the initial numbers might be challenging.  Overall I think and hope it will be an exciting experience, although I am not naive to believe it will all be smooth sailing. I am hoping this will be an enjoyable challenge and to work it out along the way.

What do you hope to achieve within your industry?

I hope to engage the youth in Bangkok, both boys and girls, and to excite them about rugby. If things go well, then other sports can be introduced, which will be exciting. It is a nice idea to think I could bring something to Bangkok that hasn’t been fully created for the youth, and to nurture a high passion for ‘alternative’ sports that aren’t necessarily mainstream in a lot of schools.  It would be great to have more regular leagues and clubs for such sports for both expats and Thais.

Who or what inspires you?

People who are getting out there, trying new things and just ‘giving it a go’ in life. Because that is living to me, and if I see people doing what they love, especially as a profession, what bigger inspiration do you need? I mean I started this rugby clinic because I went to a Sofar Sounds event and saw such passionate people that I wanted to feel and do that too. I hope it is successful!

Only a Bangkok local would know…

That Bangkok is such an awesome city! Also, Suanplu is one of the most enjoyable streets to live on, with some excellent street food and bars. I especially love the noodle soup place new to soi 8 — it’s the best!

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