The Bedford Blues Academy said farewell and thank you to James Hinkins and Harriet Cole at the Academy End-of-Season dinner on Friday.  Hinks and Harriet are stepping down from the Academy at the end of the season.

Hinks, who joined the Blues in 1995, made his Blues 1st XV debut in the 1997/98 season, and went on to play more than 130 games at wing and full back for the Blues.  He left the Blues in 2008 and spent two years playing for Cambridge before retiring from playing early in 2010.  Hinks is one of only four players who have been granted testimonial games by the Blues.  He joined the Blues Academy Coaching team in 2011, and has been Head Coach for the last two seasons.  During that time he, and the coaching team, have led the Academy to some notable victories including ones over England U18s, and the RFU funded academies of Saracens and Leicester Tigers, and have overseen the development of over 100 Blues Academy players. Hinks is stepping down to concentrate on his new role of Director of Rugby at Bedford School.    

Speaking about his role in the Academy Hinks said …

"I feel honoured to have been part of the Bedford Blues Academy coaching team.  Bedford Blues is a club I hold dear to my heart and serving it as Academy Head Coach gives me a great deal of satisfaction and sense of achievement.  I am privileged to have worked alongside some fantastic people who have a passion for rugby and player development.  Most of all, I have enjoyed coaching players with a thirst for rugby knowledge and a will to succeed and watching them develop as players and individuals.  I wish the Academy continued success in producing future stars and providing young players with an enjoyable and valuable rugby experience."

Harriet, who joined the Blues in 2007, was born in Bedford and educated at Sharnbrook Upper School before graduating with an honours degree in Sports Therapy in 2006 from the University of Hertfordshire.  After working at the BMI Manor Hospital Biddenham, Harriet returned to University in 2013 to start a two year MSc in Physiotherapy at King’s College, London. 

Harriet has done an outstanding job leading the Academy Physiotherapy team over the last seven years.  She has kept the squad fit, rehabilitated their injuries and acted as “agony aunt and mother hen” to the squad. 

Harriet is stepping down to concentrate on the final year of her Masters degree.
Denis Ormesher, the Blues Academy Director added...

“We are sorry to lose Hinks and Harriet - they have both contributed a huge amount to the Blues Academy.  We wish them well in the future; Hinks in his new job, and Harriet in the final year of her MSc.”