Plymouth Argaum’s Mills is shocked to be a National Rugby Awards finalist

PLYMOUTH Argaum’s Calum Mills says he was really surprised to find out he had been nominated for coach of the year at the National Rugby Awards.

Mills is one of six finalists for the top prize, with the winner confirmed at a glittering cermony at Twickenham on August 30.

The 32-year-old hooker has been nominated for coaching Argaum’s ‘Return to Rugby’ programme last season.

Mills offered his services when the club were looking for volunteers to give up their time on a Sunday morning to help organise the programme.

And it proved a successful venture for everyone, with Mills finding out he had a skill and passion for coaching and Argaum running the programme for double the length of time they planned and recruiting new players from it.

Mills has since been promoted to Argaum’s first-team coaching staff. He has also coached the University of Plymouth’s women’s team.

Yet he was still shocked to find himself on the list of finalists for the National Rugby Awards.

“It was very much a surprise,” admitted Mills. “I did not expect it one bit.

“The nomination was for the ‘Return to Rugby’ and just helping the club out.

“But it was not just me it was a number of people – JP (John-Paul), Steve Barnes helped out a lot at the start and I have to thank the guys that turned up. They turned up every Sunday, rain or shine, and they all had enthusiasm.”

Mills admits he does love coaching. He is now an RFU level two coach and is keen to go further.

He says he has used good and bad experiences he has had to create his own style of coaching.

“I have had experiences with coaches that I’ve disliked and it has made me into the type of coach I think people want,” he said.

“I don’t want to chat too much – I just want people to be creative. I will give them a little bit of structure, but the rest of it is up to them.

“I have a lot of people to thank, like Dave Sansom – he continuingly talked to me about coaching. He was a big influence for me coaching.

“I would love to go further as a coach.”

As well as joining Argaum’s coaching set-up, Mills has also been appointed vice-captain of the Cornwall/Devon League side.

“I came to this club about two years ago,” said Mills. “This will be my third season and it’s been great.”

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